The newest Engage hub, based from Bletchley rugby club in Milton Keynes, has been described as life changing for a young person who has been enrolled since it opened at Easter.
The hub is the fifth Engage hub to open which supports young people who are disengaged from mainstream education. The provision is open throughout the week and helps young people to see the positives in everyday life through a number of activities, workshops and support from specially trained Foundation staff.
The hub has been opened as an extension of the Foundation’s Milton Keynes Hub, based from Top Jump, to offer further support to young people in the city. It is the first to be working exclusively with the NHS and has been supported by three grants from the Clinical Commissioning Groups, CAMHS Community Mental Health team and the Milton Keynes Community Foundation. The grants ensure the Foundation can provide placement for young people who access their services and are either at risk of admission into a tier 4 unit (CCG grant) or young people who require further help with their overall mental health and creating a positive pathway for the future (CAMHS grant). The hub currently supports a maximum of six young people per day which is due to be increased to nine in September 2022.
“Engage transformed Alex* from being a young person at high risk of suicide who felt there was no other way out, into a young person who is not only able to cope but also has aspirations for his future which is a protective factor in mental health”Sarah Jackson, Transforming Care Keyworker Practitioner
Sarah Jackson, Transforming Care Keyworker Practitioner said "Without Alex* attending Engage his trajectory would have looked very different and we would likely have seen further crisis presentations and possibly even a mental health unit admission for safety. The impact that Engage has had on Alex* has been life changing and not to be underestimated that without it we would have been limited as to what we could offer in MK to stabilise a young person with this level of complexity and risk".
Harry James, Engage Manager at the Foundation, added “By opening the second hub in Milton Keynes it has meant that we have been able to open our provision to young people who would have been placed on a NHS waiting list, meaning that they receive the help they need on a much quicker timescale. The transformation of students in a short space of time has been extraordinary and we continue to support them on their journey. We use the values of rugby throughout our activities to inspire, support and educate young people so they can develop confidence, fundamental life skills and improve their overall mental wellbeing with the aim to return to fulltime education. We are very proud of how far Alex* has come during his time on the Engage programme”
Young people at the hub are able to make the most of the onsite facilities such as the kitchen, green space and large room size. They have held multiple cooking sessions, outdoor sporting activities and hosted external companies to deliver aspiring and educational workshops.
To enquire about our Engage programme in Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes or Ipswich please contact [email protected].
*Named changed to protect identify