Tom's Trust has Supported

Future Skills Training (FST), is a charity based in South London that trains and supports disadvantaged and at risk young people. It was established as a not-for-profit organisation in March 2006, gaining charitable status in June 2007. FST was created in response to the major problem of young people who leave the educational system without the necessary skills to progress in life, and whose personalities are severely under-developed, further retarding their ability to fully integrate into society and employment.

FST targets disaffected young people aged 11-19, living in areas of deprivation in Wandsworth, Lambeth and Southwark who: are not in education, employment or training; have been excluded or are at risk of exclusion from full time education; have offended or are at risk of offending; are children looked after; are from black minority ethnic communities; or are from low-income or single parent families.

All these factors adversly impact on a young person's ability to integrate into society and leaves them with low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and poor personal and social skills, which are vital for progression into further education, employment or training. FST delivers a personal and social development programme using performance techniques, lateral thinking exercises, team activities and off-site sports activities to develop these vital skills and personalities.

FST also runs a weekly youth club on the local Peabody Housing Estate and, in addition to their work with young people, they deliver a mentoring programme in partnership with Wandsworth PPO (Prolific and other Priority Offenders) Scheme.

The Tom ap Rhys Pryce Memorial Trust is providing funding for FST's "Lean On Me" Programme. As relationships with young people grow, FST offers intensive one-to-one mentoring support for those who are most in need, to provide positive role models and give them the confidence and resources to further develop themselves and attain their potential.

With funding from Tom's Trust, FST is able to offer the additional support that many of the young people they work with require. With the team of staff and volunteers currently available FST can mentor 10 young people over twelve months, based on two to four mentoring sessions per month with each young person, plus the additional follow up work. They believe that their mentoring programme, together with the group work that they already deliver will be the platform from which many of the young people will be able to progress into more mainstream educational opportunities, and access local youth activities.