Homewood student initiative celebrates 50th programme with donation from Tenterden Lions Club

Homewood student initiative celebrates 50th programme with donation from Tenterden Lions Club

The Tenterden Lions Club has donated £500 to Homewood School’s bespoke student early intervention initiative, Take up the Challenge (TUTC) which celebrates its 50th programme this Autumn.

This is the Lions’ second year supporting TUTC, which has been praised by Kent Youth Services for its transformational approach for students experiencing a range of educational, behavioural, social and personal issues which may prevent them from reaching their full potential at school.

The central aim of TUTC is to improve the educational outcome for students in years 7 and 8 who are not coping with the transition to secondary school. Up to 48 students undertake the programme each year, split into four groups of no more than 12 students. Each group undertakes five once-a-week off-timetable activities including outdoor team building, a social event and a creativity workshop. The final event is a celebration of everyone’s achievements on the course. Graduates are then brought back together at the start of the new school year for a residential course to re-energise the skills they learned and the friendships they made the previous year.

More than 650 students have successfully been through the Homewood programme since it began 14 years ago.

Tenterden Lions’ President Mike Caridia visited Homewood today (Wednesday 16 October) to present the £500 cheque to TUTC organiser Richard Downing (second from left). He also met TUTC ‘graduates’ Emily and Scott to hear first-hand about the difference the programme makes.

Both Emily and Scott told Mr Caridia that TUTC had enabled them to become more confident in themselves and their ability; improved their wellbeing by reducing their stress, and delivered supportive friendships which they still have today. Their school performance has also improved as a result.

The two Year 11 Arts college students, who were selected to join the programme in Year 7, now help mentor new candidates who are experiencing the same issues they faced when moving to secondary school.

“Helping young people to reach their potential is at the heart of the Lions’ mission so we are delighted to be continuing to support this important programme,” said Mr Caridia. “It was very inspiring to hear directly from Emily and Scott just what a tangible difference TUTC made at such a crucial point in their lives and that they are now giving back to others who are treading the same path.”