ADD2171 Social Action Element of HeadStart Plus Pilot Project

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
06 November 2017
Decision by: 
Laura Cordingley Nee Brown , Assistant Director, Team London

Executive summary

Team London have partnered with The Challenge since 2014 to fund HeadStart, a programme to help young people volunteer, build employability skills and gain their first interview for paid work. The programme has worked with more than 5,000 young people who have provided over 100,000 volunteering hours to local communities and charities across London.

DD2174 approved the expansion of the HeadStart model, in the form of a pilot of HeadStart Plus, a bespoke, geographically and demographically focused programme for disadvantaged young people from Peckham and neighbouring areas who require greater support to be in education or employment. Approval for the social action element was, however, given subject to an ADD being brought forward to set out relevant details. 

This decision form sets out that detail and asks for confirmation of approval to fund six social action projects at a total cost of £25,000, to be delivered by a delivery partner as part of the Headstart Plus Pilot Project.


That the Assistant Director of Team London approves expenditure of up to £25,000 to fund a delivery partner to lead the complementary social action and engagement element of the HeadStart Plus Pilot, as approved in DD2174.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    MD2124 approved spend of up to £250k for HeadStart for 2017-18, £25k of which has been allocated to the HeadStart Plus pilot. DD2174 then approved a total of spend of £75,000 on the HeadStart Plus programme, comprising of £50,000 sponsorship from Lendlease and up to £25,000 from the GLA. The approval of expenditure of the £25,000 for the social action element of the programme was given conditionally on the basis that an ADD be brought forward with relevant detail. This is that ADD.

1.2    HeadStart is a tried and tested model which equips young people with the skills and experience 
needed for working life. It achieves this by providing young people with the opportunity to volunteer for 16 hours, attend communication and employability workshops, attend a job interview and for some providing the opportunity to gain paid work, work experience or an internship.
The HeadStart Programme began as a small pilot in 2014 and has grown to support over 5,000 young people who have given back over 100,000 hours of volunteering in their local community. Over 3,500 young people have attended employability workshops, that were delivered by HeadStart employer partners. Out of those interviewed 75 per cent were assessed as being job ready and nearly 500 young people have secured jobs.

1.3    We are now growing the HeadStart core programme to work with more targeted groups. In this case, to work with disadvantaged young people who are in school but at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training). We will work with ‘the forgotten middle’, young people who are not presenting any overt problems at this stage and therefore are not visible for further support. This can leave them at risk of becoming NEET and not as equipped for post-16 education or a future career or careers.

1.4    This expanded HeadStart programme, HeadStart Plus, will work with a smaller number of young people in each cohort, all of whom require a higher level of support throughout the duration of the programme than the existing HeadStart participants. This more intensive support (and associated higher funding requirement) opens up the programme to the forgotten middle demographic who would otherwise not be able to benefit. 

1.5    The Challenge are the lead delivery partner for HeadStart Plus. They will:
•    undertake the initial assessments with the young people, support them to set the goals they want to achieve on the project, and tailor the delivery of the personal development and employability workshops to meet their needs and achieve their goals
•    oversee and support the young people during the delivery of the social action project and this will tie into their delivery of the personal development and employability workshops, where the young people will be supported to map the skills they have gained and reflect on their experiences and learning
•    support the young people to prepare for their interviews with Lendlease and support those who are unsuccessful to look at other opportunities with the core HeadStart Programme
•    support the young people during their work experience and enable them to reflect on their achievements and learning and help them to set goals for their next steps

1.6    This decision seeks up to £25,000 to fund a selected delivery partner who will work with the young people to complete the social action project that is relevant to them as individuals and/or related to their local community. From our work with HeadStart and also from our knowledge of NCS, the National Citizen Service, we are aware that the social action element of both programmes is sometimes not as visible to the local community or as directly related to the young person’s interests and experience as it could be. As well as piloting work with the forgotten middle, we also wish to trial a new way of working with social action partners so that we are able to look at tackling these two issues. 

1.7    The social action delivery will include a range of activities for the young people. Activities will include theatre and performance, where in a series of creative workshops the young people will work on how they will raise awareness of their chosen theme. The end result could be a pitch, a campaign, a short film or a performance. This will engage young people by giving them a voice and an opportunity to work on something that is relevant to their lives or their local community. This element of the project will enable young people to develop a range of skills such as leadership, communication and team work. It will also prepare them for the employability workshops and interviews for work experience placements with Lendlease.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Objectives 
(a)    To work with The Challenge and the selected delivery partner to deliver the volunteering element of HeadStart Plus through a team social action project that will be relevant to the interests of the young people.
(b)    The social action projects will enable young people to focus on themes that are relevant to their lives and where they can experience personal growth and develop their employability skills such as, leadership and creative skills.
(c)    To work in partnership with The Challenge, the lead delivery partner, to ensure the social action project is seamlessly embedded within the delivery and planning of the other elements of HeadStart Plus project.
(d)    To engage the young people with their local communities and make a positive change through social action.
(e)    To promote volunteering and social action beyond the life of this project.

2.2    Expected outcomes 
(a)    Increased key aspects of social and emotional capability (Self-perception, self-direction, motivation, self-regulation, social skills, resilience). 
(b)    Improved school attendance
(c)    Improved mental wellbeing
(d)    Improved communication and relationship skills
(e)    Less involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour 
(f)    Young people feel more confident and are better at managing difficult situations  
(g)    Improved sense of citizenship, belonging and community pride
(h)    Increased skills awareness and employability skills to access to employment, training and education opportunities

2.3      We will complete research to find a list of prospective delivery partners, looking for the most suitable delivery partner who will deliver the objectives and outcomes as outlined in 2.1 and 2.2.  We will seek a balance of a quality project which also delivers the best value for money. 

Equality comments

3.1    This project aims to work with disadvantaged young people. The programme is accessible to all young people regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs etc. Promotion, content and delivery of the project will ensure that it does not stereotype and provides open access to individuals who are interested in joining the project, in particular one which is of interest to them.

3.2     The project will provide flexibility to those who have specific needs such as a disability or special educational needs, by ensuring that the content and delivery is adapted to meet different needs and where required, support equipment will be made available. Physical access to learning will be considered and arrangements will be made where required.

Other considerations

4.1    Key risks



Risk Description

Mitigation / Risk Response

Probability (1-4)





The community partner does not deliver a satisfactory project

Team London will follow the guidance for procuring the charity partner. The Challenge will be the lead delivery partner and ensure good progress is being made. The charity partner will also attend monitoring meetings to update on progress on outcomes. A grant agreement will be issued which will set out clear objectives and outcomes.





The community partner does not meet the agreed outcomes for the social action project

The risk is low and will be mitigated through close project management and monitoring through monthly meetings and review processes





The sponsor is not satisfied with the delivery and progress

Team London has a strong track record of working with businesses and building strong relationships. We will work closely with the sponsor and meet regularly as a project team to ensure any issues are resolved early on and quickly.





The new pilot model of delivery for HeadStart does not work

There are 3 cohorts of delivery through the year. Team London, The Challenge and the community partner will be evaluating the project throughout and building the learning into the delivery at various stages so that any risk areas are resolved quickly.





Mayoral strategies

4.2    This programme will work towards fulfilling the priorities set by the Mayor of London: 
•    The programme will increase social action. HeadStart Plus will work with a wide demographic of Londoners, encouraging active participation in community and civic life. It will support young Londoners in volunteering and will help them to take action to improve our city
•    It will also increase social cohesion and community engagement. HeadStart Plus will teach young people to foster valuable life skills by becoming active citizens in their local area, and bringing communities together in a way that is now more important than ever
•    It will aid people with the employment, education and training that they need, as well as meeting the business needs of our ever-growing city. HeadStart Plus will work to improve the skills system here, ensuring provision more closely matches the needs of businesses in our growth sectors, so that all Londoners can contribute fully and benefit from the opportunities that our world-class economy generates.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure up to £25,000 to fund a delivery partner to lead the complementary social action and engagement element of the HeadStart Plus Pilot.

5.2    This expenditure will be funded from the 2017-18 Youth (Community) programme budget within the Team London and Sports unit.

Planned delivery approach and next steps




Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

December 2017


December 2017

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

January 2018

Completion of cohort 2

June 2018

Completion of cohort 3

Dec 2018

Final evaluation

Dec 2018

Delivery End Date

Dec 2018

Project End

Jan 2019


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