We are delighted to announce that E-ACT Nechells Academy has been shortlisted for the Community Engagement Initiative of the Year category in this year’s Tes Schools Awards!
As we wait for the awards ceremony where the final winners will be announced on Friday 17 June, we’d like to recognise why Nechells are so deserving of being shortlisted:
E-ACT Nechells Academy serves the 16th most deprived ward in the country, where more than half of children grow up in poverty, and staff are uniquely situated to understand the impact of economic deprivation on people living in Nechells.
The academy set up the Community and Advisory Hub in 2018 to support anyone in the local area facing hardship—whether they are one of the school families or not—by providing access to safe spaces, resources, and signposting to specialist agencies.
The support offered spans education, health and wellbeing, sexual violence and safety, and community-building initiatives, all of which provide members of the community with access to resources, allow them to develop their skills and build lasting friendships. Of 85 community members surveyed, 100% said that the Community Hub is a valuable resource for them and others.
Thanks to strong relationships with charities including Shelter, Aston & Nechells foodbank, Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid, the NHS and Citizens Advice Birmingham, the academy is able to provide pupils with food bank vouchers the moment they join the school, and set up direct lines of support, for example between a victim of domestic abuse and a charity partner.
Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the hub became more important than ever. With the local safeguarding context of domestic abuse and violence becoming more prevalent, the hub ran weekly sessions around housing applications and women’s aid support. Pupils also ran a ‘Bags for Hope’ initiative where they donated everything from teddy bears to books and cosmetics so that if someone was fleeing their family home, the hub could provide them with a grab bag to help tide them over until they found their feet elsewhere.
We are so proud to have been shortlisted in this category for all of this amazing work and wish E-ACT Nechells Academy the best of luck for June!