Charity that helps young people in Tower Hamlets at risk of school exclusion wins an award

From left to right: Andrew Lewis, general counsel and company cecretary, ICG, Lord Mayor Charles Bow

From left to right: Andrew Lewis, general counsel and company cecretary, ICG, Lord Mayor Charles Bowman, Darrin Reece, coach at ThinkForward and ThinkForward Chairman, Charlie Green, - Credit: ThinkForward

A charity that helps young people in the borough who are at risk of being excluded from school have won an award for its work.

ThinkForward and its partner, asset management firm ICG, became the first recipients of the Sir Martyn Lewis Award at the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards last week.

The charity was celebrated for its work with young people at the London East Alternative Provision school (LEAP) in Tower Hamlets.

A ThinkForward coach supports students who have been identified as being at high risk of leaving school and becoming unemployed - they can from year nine upwards.

A five-year plan is then put in place where students receive one-to-one coaching.

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The charity aims to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds develop the networks that they do not have, compared to their more affluent peers.

A spokeswoman for ThinkForward said: “Students are also sent to businesses to equip them with skills necessary to succeed in the world of work with structured coaching sessions.”

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ICG helps to fund the programme and opens its doors to young people who attend regular mentoring sessions with staff volunteers and valuable work experience opportunities.

The partnership is now in its seventh year.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, along with other categories, celebrate partnerships between businesses and charities that are achieving excellence in social impact in London and across the UK.

ThinkForward chairman Charlie Green said: “ThinkForward and ICG are absolutely thrilled and honoured to win the new Sir Martyn Lewis Award.

“Our work together, is a great example of a true partnership that has brighter prospects for young people at its heart

Benoit Durteste, CEO of ICG, added: “We support ThinkForward in several ways; the most impactful is the time ICG volunteers give each month working with some very challenging young people and encouraging them to develop skills.

“By acting as positive role models, our mentors provide guidance and support to these young people and the results speak for themselves; over four years, our mentees are four and a half times more likely to achieve qualifications.”

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