About Us

A4S is run by ProgressAbility.org which is a charitable company limited by guarantee based in Bedford.  We are currently a team of twenty five + people who are passionate and committed to helping young people succeed in life.  We have members of staff, advisors and volunteers who have a wide range of experience, skills and qualifications in teaching, coaching and other areas. We also have five trustees and six advisors with relevant professional expertise and experience in running charities and businesses.

A4S offers a wide range of term-time and holiday activities for young people in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties. Our aim is to promote a sense of well-being and purpose in young people so that they feel better equipped to progress, move on and lead fulfilling lives; a stepping stone to a brighter future.

We achieve this by providing experiential learning activities that engage and inspire young people to build up their self-esteem, confidence, skills and qualifications to make progress in education, training or employment.

Our Trustees

The trustees are passionate about the work of A4S in helping to change the lives of disadvantaged young people. They are accountable for delivering safe and high quality activities to the young people in line with the objectives of the charity and for the welfare and development of all staff and volunteers working for it. They meet regularly as trustees and work closely with A4S staff - to provide clear direction and sound governance of A4S as a sustainable service for the local community. As individuals, the trustees have all been involved in working directly with young people and bring a wealth of experience from the education, health and financial sectors and of running successful local businesses.

Meet the team

What We Offer

In term time we work with needy and disenfranchised young people referred from schools, complementary education centres and local authorities. Sessions aimed at encouraging the student to re-engage with society and education usually run from 9am – 3pm and are led by qualified and experienced coaches. Each session is carefully tailored to the needs of the individual young person.  

 

During school holidays we run skills and techniques sessions, which are supported through grants generously supplied by BBC Children in Need and are offered on a selective basis to children most likely to benefit from our coaches' assistance. These can be based around any of the activities we offer and are designed to be engaging as well as enjoyable and fun.  These sessions normally run from 10am-4pm but can be adapted to suit the individual child's needs.  Qualifications can sometimes be delivered in holiday sessions if requested and agreed prior to the sessions.

 

The sessions we run are centred around our core activities of Angling, Environmental Maintenance, Arts and Crafts & Aquarium Systems  - with other life skills such as  Photography, Outdoor Skills, Horticulture, Cycling and Bicycle Maintenance,  Indoor and Outdoor Cooking & Sports being employed when appropriate

 

Completing an approachable and achievable qualification helps young people recognise their own strengths, develops personal skills and boosts their self-esteem so they can approach other learning situations in the future with confidence and move on positively in their life. We are an accredited BTEC and Gateway Qualifications Centre.

 

Taking part in outdoor activities engages young people and helps them to have a more positive outlook on life, their own abilities and their potential.  It also provides them with fresh air and time and space away from difficult circumstances and bad influences, which is proven to be very therapeutic for children whose life does not otherwise offer much opportunity for such activity. Being in green spaces with flora and fauna has been shown to provide a valuable respite from anxiety, while working in small groups helps young people to work and communicate as part of a team. Typically at A4S, we work on either a 1:1 (student:coach) or 2:1 basis; providing a personal and non-intimidating environment for the child.  If a young person is coached 1:1, we try gradually to integrate them into small group situations, where possible and to the child's benefit.


General Information

Transport

At A4S we have a small fleet of  vehicles and the  coaches are able to collect and drop off the students to and from their home address, school or complementary education centre.


Work Skills and Work Experience

We give students support with writing CVs, researching jobs and college courses, writing application letters for college courses and jobs, and interview techniques. We also offer work experience opportunities to young people and this includes: work around the A4S Learning Centre in Bedford; preparing kit for the coaches;  assisting coaches on sessions; and doing office work.


Free School Meals

If a young person referred to us is eligible for free school meals, we can offer both breakfast and lunch. We have toast and cereals for the morning to help with student energy and concentration levels. We can provide a sandwich or pasta for lunch as well as cereal bars and healthy drinks. This must be agreed with the school or referrer prior to a student attending.


Healthy Lifestyle

A4S promotes a healthy lifestyle. We do this by encouraging students to eat healthily, keep active and not smoke. We can provide information leaflets on stopping smoking should a young person require help.


What We Offer

In term time we work with needy and disenfranchised young people referred from schools, complementary education centres and local authorities. Sessions aimed at encouraging the student to re-engage with society and education usually run from 9am – 3pm and are led by qualified and experienced coaches. Each session is carefully tailored to the needs of the individual young person.  

 

During school holidays we run skills and techniques sessions, which are supported through grants generously supplied by BBC Children in Need and are offered on a selective basis to children most likely to benefit from our coaches' assistance. These can be based around any of the activities we offer and are designed to be engaging as well as enjoyable and fun.  These sessions normally run from 10am-4pm but can be adapted to suit the individual child's needs.  Qualifications can sometimes be delivered in holiday sessions if requested and agreed prior to the sessions.

 

The sessions we run are centred around our core activities of Angling, Environmental Maintenance, Arts and Crafts & Aquarium Systems  - with other life skills such as  Photography, Outdoor Skills, Horticulture, Cycling and Bicycle Maintenance,  Indoor and Outdoor Cooking & Sports being employed when appropriate

 

Completing an approachable and achievable qualification helps young people recognise their own strengths, develops personal skills and boosts their self-esteem so they can approach other learning situations in the future with confidence and move on positively in their life. We are an accredited BTEC and Gateway Qualifications Centre.

 

Taking part in outdoor activities engages young people and helps them to have a more positive outlook on life, their own abilities and their potential.  It also provides them with fresh air and time and space away from difficult circumstances and bad influences, which is proven to be very therapeutic for children whose life does not otherwise offer much opportunity for such activity. Being in green spaces with flora and fauna has been shown to provide a valuable respite from anxiety, while working in small groups helps young people to work and communicate as part of a team. Typically at A4S, we work on either a 1:1 (student:coach) or 2:1 basis; providing a personal and non-intimidating environment for the child.  If a young person is coached 1:1, we try gradually to integrate them into small group situations, where possible and to the child's benefit.

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