RPT End of Year Review

Head of Services Sophie Fitzhugh looks back 2019 outlines RPT’s plans for the future

It is exactly one year from when we received the findings from the research we commissioned into the changing needs of children, young people and families. At RPT it is important to us that we are ready to meet changing needs, listen to the evidence we find and talk to young people and our staff to ensure we respond quickly and effectively.

Both the research findings and our young people told us they are uncertain about their futures and want RPT to help them understand career options and support them to gain skills and employment. In response, we have been developing ‘Amplify’ as a substantial new service at RPT to promote learning, new experiences and skills relevant to a wide range of jobs in the creative arts industries.

Our young people have been making creating music albums, have had their art work displayed in an interactive media exhibition and have been working on their second Dazed Media photographic project. We would like to thank Arts Alliance for the incredible support they have given to the development of Amplify and the creation of our two new music studios.

The research also told us that we needed to focus on mental wellbeing. In response, we have introduced a beautiful and calming space where we can do one-to-one work with children, young people and mums. We have had wonderful feedback on the impact of this new space.

We have talked before about the need to do more preventative outreach work by working in schools with the most at-risk boys, supporting them to build resilience, positive behaviour and hope. Our youth team, who are skilled at informal learning, are now delivering ‘Man Cave’ and ‘Boy Cave’ in primary and secondary schools, working with boys in groups and mentoring on a one-to-one basis. 

We are delighted to be working in partnership with West London Zone on this programme. Next term we will be working in six primary and secondary schools and we hope to roll this programme out to girls.

For our mums, the research proposed that we introduce daytime classes around healthy eating, food economy and cooking, and we’re pleased to say that these classes are underway. We have also introduced new support for mums, both in doing Open University courses and in developing their own business and enterprise ideas.

The research also highlighted the importance of Play for children, extending way beyond simply being fun and keeping children active. It supports children with their physical, mental, social and emotional growth and underpins so much of what happens across RPT’s services. This summer our Play 3 team provided Play opportunities for over 200 children for four weeks of the summer holiday, supported by many fabulous volunteers.

We have achieved a great deal in one year, but there is still a lot more to do and as ever we are immensely grateful for all the support we receive from our supporters and volunteers.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome Susan Lowndes Marques, our new Homework Club manager, who has come from a background in teaching in the primary sector as well as being a former volunteer at RPT. Susan has continued Jac’s legacy and is passionate about improving academic outcomes for the children at RPT. She has hit the ground running and we are very happy she has joined the RPT team.

25th November 2019