Cheltenham BID businesses pledge to support the town's youngest citizens
Member businesses of the mighty town centre partnership that is Cheltenham BID are one of the significant signatures on an initiative aimed at giving young people the very best start in life.
Across the borough 15 schools and 16 organisations have signed up to the aims of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)initiative, a promise to work with families in a way that focusses on kindness, understanding and empathy.
The commitment is an agreement to making sure that services across Cheltenham are delivered with kindness at their core, taking into account families’ individual circumstances and experiences. In short, to ensure that ‘no child is left behind’.
NCLB was a reaction to a report which found more than a third of the borough’s children were growing up in poverty.
These children were statistically more likely to experience challenges such as school exclusion, lower educational attainment, poorer mental and physical health, and an increased likelihood of having social care involvement in their family.
Maria Allebone, digital and communication executive at Cheltenham BID (business improvement district), said: “We have signed up to community agreement because we want not only to see the business community do well but would like to see everyone in Cheltenham thrive.
Pictured: Guests at the No Child Left Behind Awards 2019 in Cheltenham
“It starts with our young people, these are our future entrepreneurs, hoteliers, retailers as well as customers.
“The BID is continually organising free inclusive family activities across the town centre, encouraging businesses and employees to interact with participants.
“Our 2020 summer trail; the interactive Hidden Cheltenham Trail and the Monster Hero Safari Trail are twogreat examples of how we have achieved this.”
Cllr Flo Clucas cabinet member for healthy lifestyles at Cheltenham Borough Council, which isdriving the initiative and hosts annual awards to celebrate the achievements of all concerned, said: ‘’We’ve seen extraordinary resilience and compassion during the pandemic.
‘’Our Cheltenham families will know that advice, help, assurance and assistance is there for them.
“It will be offered through inclusive and compassionate environments where they will be able to talk about issues affecting them, without judgement, and supported in a way that focusses on their strengths and helps them overcome their challenges.
‘’It might be that someone has a situation at home and is unsure where to ask for help or there may be an employer who wants to offer a fuller support package for staff.
“Wherever you see the NCLB community agreement mark you know you can get advice and support with kindness at its core.’’
Charlotte Blanch head teacher at catholic primary school, St Gregory the Great said: ‘’We believe it is now more important than ever to work together as a whole town to understand one another better, build relationships with each other and recognise how we’re all valuable cogsof the same machine, working together to do the very best for our children, the future of our town.’’
NCLB has said it will aim to build on what it called “its successes and learning points of the past year”.
The initiative has also launched a new website, designed to highlight the strengths and achievements of Cheltenham families and organisations, and to provide signposting and support.
Follow @NCLBchelt or #NCLBchelt