Derbyshire Education Business Partnership (DEBP)

Derbyshire Education Business Partnership (DEBP), which specialises in supporting the aspirational decision making of young people to shape their future helping them to fulfil their potential, received more than £4,000 from the Feeling Connected Fund.

Thanks to the funding, the ‘Let’s Get Creative’ project was set up to support young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.  It provides the opportunity to link up with businesses and organisations in the creative sector, giving them an insight into what it’s like to work in that environment and meet other young people with shared interests. 

Clare Talati, director of DEBP, said: “During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in young people with additional needs feeling isolated because they are often not catered for by mainstream provision. Most of their peer network and social interaction is at school, so when the schools closed last year it had a huge impact.

“We recognised an opportunity to provide young people with the chance to utilise, develop and showcase their skills, allowing them to progress positively and enhance their experiences – people with SEND are often an unrecognised talent pool. Thanks to the funding from the Feeling Connected project, we have been able to collaborate with Kakou, a local organisation specialising in inclusive technologies and Chesterfield College’s Digital, Media and Graphics department, to deliver ‘Let’s Get Creative’, which is achieving just that.

“It’s been such a fantastic experience for the young people involved and what is clear is that participants are getting a huge level of satisfaction from this initiative. It is enabling each of the young people to create a bigger peer network and giving them the opportunity to interact with new people in different ways, which is proving extremely beneficial.

“Without the funding this project wouldn’t have been possible, so a huge thank you to DVA for all their support, as well as all the other partner organisations we’ve worked with who have supported us in delivering it.”