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Wales’ Leading Construction Framework Partners with National Charity

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Wales’ longest running public sector procurement framework, the £1bn South East and Mid Wales Collaborative Construction Framework (SEWSCAP), has announced funding support for leading national charity, the School Of Hard Knocks, as part of its social value strategy.

In line with its commitment to meeting the goals and objectives of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, the award-winning framework, in partnership with its sister framework, the South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Civil Engineering and Highways Construction Framework (SEWH), has committed funding to the charity, ensuring Behaviour Specialists can be recruited to undertake valuable work with school children and adults across South East Wales.

The School Of Hard Knocks uses rugby and other high impact sports as a vehicle to deliver social change. Its work demonstrates that the values of sport, combined with a personal development curriculum and one-to-one mentoring, centred around the needs of the individual, enables beneficiaries to reach their potential.

It delivers three programmes across South Wales, its Schools Programme, Adults Programme, and its Back in the Game online offering. The charity’s Schools Programme reaches children who are disengaged from school and enables them to realise their potential, improve their behaviour and adopt a growth mindset. A third of all exclusions from school are due to persistent disruptive behaviour and the children the charity supports also suffer with low confidence, poor self-control, difficulties with social cohesion and poor communication skills.

The Adult Programme focuses on tackling unemployment, as well as poor physical and mental health. Many participants have extra barriers to employment to contend with such as challenges with their mental health, histories of criminal and anti-social behaviour and addiction.

Catryn Grundy, Programmes Director, School Of Hard Knocks Cymru explains:

“The support given by SEWSCAP and SEWH is literally saving lives by allowing us to recruit additional Behaviour Specialists whose work is invaluable for both adults and children. This is especially true currently as there is increased need for mental health and wellbeing support due to covid and prolonged periods of social isolation. Many of the people we work with have complex support needs, which often include mental health conditions, adverse childhood experiences, a history of addiction, criminal behaviour and domestic abuse.

“Our Behaviour Specialists are able to work closely with these people and provide one-to-one support, analyse their needs and instruct course leaders accordingly. These interventions are pivotal in helping people on the right path to better mental health, potential job opportunities, and can mean the difference to young people staying in full time education.”

Christopher McClellan, SEWSCAP and SEWH Framework Manager adds:

“We are delighted to support the work of this fantastic charity and to see our input making such a difference is extremely rewarding.

“Via a social levy received from contractors on the SEWH framework, and contribution to social initiatives through SEWSCAP, we are able to support organisations that are making a sustainable and tangible difference within communities, in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. We are also able to connect the partners on our framework with the charity, resulting in training and recruitment opportunities. Clearly the work of School Of Hard Knocks is making a huge difference within schools and communities across South East Wales and being able to partner with them and develop our social value strategy in this way is very exciting. We are looking forward to engaging further in the long term and witnessing the results that are achieved.”

SEWSCAP was the first local authority construction framework in Wales and draws together the expertise of pre-qualified, experienced, small, medium and large contractors to provide various school / public buildings construction works, as well as modular and demountable solutions, between the values of over £250k to £100m.

Its aim is to achieve best value arrangements for South East & Mid Wales through competitive procurement, whilst driving regeneration, continuous improvement and best practice. This is achieved through continuous improvement with the involvement of key stakeholders and industry benchmarking.

SEWH draws together the expertise of pre-qualified, experienced small, medium and large contractors to various civil engineering and highways construction works, including maintenance, surfacing and project work.