Unity was born in May 2005 as a response to the local social problems that the directors saw on a daily basis. These included unemployment, families living in poverty, low educational achievement, school exclusions and children entering the care system.
By creating innovative and engaging projects that captured young people's attention, Unity began to establish itself as a leading provider of services for children across North Staffordshire.
The main drivers of the opportunities Unity provides are the arts, sports and cultural activity. We believe that once a child is presented with an opportunity to participate, achieve and develop with role models and support they can progress with the very best chance to lead a productive adult life.
The Unity Foundation is a Social Enterprise and therefore every penny that it generates is reinvested back in to improve the services and facilities it provides that will make our communities better places to live!
We never charge young people to participate in any activity we facilitate.
Pictured: Will Sherratt (Programme Director), Nick Roach (Creative Practitioner), Matt Wilcox (Founder), Adam Wilton (Mentor) and Annie Sanderson (Creative Practitioner).
The Studio Hub gives young people with little or no access to music an opportunity to learn, explore and participate in a positive enviornment with other young people. We help young people develop their musical and artistic skill with traditional and modern music making activities. This leads to the development of confidence and self esteem, pivitol in creating a solid foundation for achievement as they progress into being productive young adults.
This project has been funded and supported by numerous agencies, most notably the Staffordshire police and crime commissioner, who has supported our efforts in giving young people positive developmental opportunities.
We have been delivering Summer projects to young people in the justice system for the past 10 years with the aim of reducing offending behaviour, improving basic skills and ensuring they have the best opportunity to progress into education or training when the new academic year begins. These Colleges have been heavily supported by the Youth Justice Board and the Arts Council, who reaped the rewards of significant reduction of offending behaviour and a huge rise in the number of young people returning to education post project.
This project was most recently recognised at a celebration hosted by the House of Lords and has been featured in many reports and publications for finding innovative ways of engaging young people at risk.
We value music as an important tool in helping young people participate and achieve. Our Primary Curriculum project works with younger children in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods to ensure that they have opportunities to express and learn in a creative way. These sessions have been been developed in an inspiring way to contribute to each school's musical targets and help each school fulfil their responsibilities in regards to creative and cultural development.
Progressionz is a 5 year joint-funded project between Unity and The Big Lottery fund worth circa £375,000 aimed at supporting students in school who are at risk of exclusion. Through our team of creative mentors we aim to engage with 1000 young people over the project and make a dramatic impact on their future life chances through access to new opportunities, qualifications and support.
Through partnership working with each school we have been able to reduce the numbers of exclusions and ensure that each child has the oppportunity to complete an additional level 1 qualification in the arts. We have also been able to assist young people in making positive choices in their progressional pathways and steer them through their educational experience no matter what issues or barriers they encounter.