Ablaze’s work centres around our belief that we have a duty to address the inequality and inclusion problems our young people are facing. Pre-COVID research by the Office for Students showed a significant number of our young people were getting reasonable or good GCSE results, but this was not translating into successful progression. There is an uncomfortable truth that a young person’s postcode can directly affect their Post-16 progression choices. The danger remains that if the region’s economy grows these young people will continue to be left behind or be unable to benefit from this growth.

Post-COVID, this truth is starker than ever. Our work focuses on those children and young people most at risk of falling through the attainment gap, and on directly supporting those most in need. This cohort are those most likely to be impacted by COVID-19. The consequences of prolonged school closures and economic downturn will be most significant for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our programmes will be vital in the fight to mitigate this, to protect social mobility and ensure the gap does not widen further. Take our West of England Mentoring scheme for example, which provides 12-15-year-old students with access to local professionals to help plot out a career path post-GCSE. Despite having to pivot during the pandemic to offer virtual sessions, 69 per cent of pupils that took part said the sessions left them with a better plan for post-GCSE, while 94 per cent felt better about school after participating.

With COVID-19 restrictions now having been lifted, face-to-face mentoring schemes are once again a possibility and Ablaze Bristol needs the support of your company to ensure today’s students become tomorrow’s business success stories.

Find out how you can support the employees of tomorrow by visiting our website and registering interest here: https://ablazebristol.org/contact/


Originally Posted on LinkedIn by Sally Melvin Ablaze CEO