Education Programme: Branching Out - Wakefield YOT

Age: 11-17
Sex: n/a
Cost: yes




  • To improve young people’s engagement in education
  • To provide participants with the opportunity to achieve an accredited award through the completion of the Arts Award and John Muir Award
  • To promote community interaction and social cohesion




Branching Out is a five day informal education programme delivered in partnership between Wakefield Youth Offending Team, Wakefield Youth Work Team, Early Help Hubs, Countryside Services and Wakefield District Housing.


Referrals come via our Youth Work Team, Youth Offending Team, Early Help Intervention service, Social Services, Connexions, and schools. Referrals are prioritised for those who are at risk of disengaging from education.


Each programme aims to support up to twelve people aged 11-17 by providing a week of creative, educational and environmental activities. It also attempts to develop a range of life skills and experiences such as teamwork, social responsibility, organisation, communication as well as improving understanding and respect of the local natural environment.


Participants learn about the work of Countryside Services in supporting the local wildlife and maintaining and improving our environment, which is part of the process for achieving national accreditation through the John Muir Award. There is also an option to achieve the nationally accredited Arts Award by taking part in different arts activities, creating, presenting and sharing what they have made which can include anything from street dance to poetry. Participants are encouraged to undertake both the John Muir and Arts Award. This can provide participants with a real sense of achievement and success, which will hopefully support continued progression and achievement in education. All nineteen of the 2016 participants either progressed to or re-engaged with education or training opportunities at the start of the new academic year. Furthermore, a number of the young people are progressing to the Duke of Edinburgh Award.



Implementing the Practice:

  • The programme is resourced and delivered by staff from a variety of organisations who work with young people at risk of adverse outcomes. This brings together a range of experiences and approaches plus encourages a sharing of resource across the agencies who refer young people to the programme.
  • Four core staff are on hand to deliver the day to day activities with additional staff available to transport young people to and from the programme.
  • Around one month prior to the start of the programme a member of the Youth Offending Service will visit the young people/their families to discuss the requirements of the programme and to enlist the support of the parents/carers in encouraging attendance and recognising achievement.




YOT: Wakefield Youth Offending Team
Name: Dawn Gothard