John Henry Newman Catholic School in Chelmsley Wood has successfully secured a £72,728 grant from HS2 Ltd - the company building the UK’s new high speed rail line between London and the West Midlands – and will use the funding to upskill their students, with the goal of securing placements in voluntary and paid employment as they move through their education.
The funding will be used to offer a series of sessions that encourage career development, entrepreneurial skills, fitness sessions and confidence training.
The school received the grant as part of a Community and Environment Fund (CEF) set up by HS2 Ltd. In Solihull, nine projects have already shared £323,364 from the HS2 Funds to date, with over £10m of funding already shared between 175 projects located near the HS2 route.
Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds, Cathy Elliott, said:
“The scheme proposed by John Henry Newman College is a great example of the diversity of projects supported by the HS2 Community and Environment Fund. It is vital that young people are given opportunities that expose them to higher education and the world of work, and I’m pleased that the school has been successful in securing an award.
“The HS2 Funds are still available to support local communities and businesses that are impacted by the construction of HS2.”
Since opening in January 2011, John Henry Newman Catholic College has aimed to provide a stimulating curriculum, focusing on qualifications which will help secure their students places at world leading universities or prestigious apprenticeships. They plan to use the new funding package to offer their students additional extra-curricular activities that support their career and skills development, including paid placements.
Assistant Head Teacher at John Henry Newman College, Matt Morgan, said:
“The grant we have received from HS2’s Community and Environment Fund will be used to improve the skills and confidence of our students, allowing them to explore bigger and better career opportunities in the future. We already have students volunteering in youth mentoring as part of the scheme, including four sixth form students setting up a badminton club and youth club.
“I know from first-hand experience that the young people in our community have so much untapped potential and I know they are desperate for opportunities to show their ability and passions. As a cornerstone of our local community, the additional funding has put us in the best position to support our students, providing them with a solid foundation to explore their potential.”
The HS2 Funds opened to applicants in 2017 and are made up by the Community and Environment fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Britain’s new high-speed railway between London and the West Midlands. Since April this year, communities and businesses between the West Midlands and Crewe were also able to apply to the funds, which have a combined total of £45million.