Reboot West – Helping young people leaving care to progress in education and work

8th December 2021

Confidence – Skills – Fulfilling lives

“I have goals and ambitions – I actually feel like I can do it now”

“The support I have received has been more than just a step to a career path. My work with my Reboot West Coach has been substantial to me understanding that I am capable and deserve a good future as long as I am willing to help myself.”

“The support has been helpful in moving forwards in the progression from college to Uni and the work experience wouldn’t of happened without the support of my work coach.”

The Reboot West approach

  • Reboot West works with care experienced young people aged 16-25 across the West of England region helping them to access and sustain learning, training and work as well as helping them to achieve stability and wellbeing in their lives.
  • The project’s Coaches form trusting relationships with young people for up to three years, sticking with them through the highs and the lows.
  • Together they explore what matters most to the young person (their values) and what they are good at, helping them to gain the confidence, skills, motivation and qualifications to progress to meaningful work. This includes job coaching and practical help (for example with their CVs and preparing for job interviews) as well as providing things like laptops and work clothes.
  • Partnership working is central to Reboot’s approach, with the project’s Coaches embedded in local authority teams across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BANES and North Somerset.
  • Reboot Coaches work out and about in the community, meeting young people in locations that are safe for them including their own homes, café’s, parks, or even the gym. As well as EET work, Reboot Coaches work holistically doing whatever it takes to ensure that the young person is in a safe and secure physical and mental state to begin EET work.
  • Coaches are trained to use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a psychological approach that helps young people to build commitment and make positive choices. Rather than be driven by some of the unhelpful thoughts and feelings that young people leaving care can often experience, ACT enables young people to choose behaviours and action based on their personal values and the life they want to lead.
  • The project uses a model of ACT called DNA-V that was developed specifically for working with adolescents. The co-founder of DNA-V, Australian clinical psychologist Louise Hayes, has supported the project since the beginning, along with Bristol-based senior educational psychologist, Duncan Gillard.
  • The project also helps to create supportive, sustainable education and employment opportunities by working in partnership with employers, colleges, universities and training providers.


The need

Young people leaving care are hugely talented young people and the project aims to ensure they fulfil their potential and become a key asset in their communities and the region. However, they also have emotional and wellbeing needs associated with trauma, disrupted attachments, instability and change. Nationally care experienced young people are far more likely than their peers to be not in education or employment (NEET). The project supports people leaving care who are NEET or at high risk of becoming NEET.


Reboot West One and the difference it’s made so far

  • The first Reboot West project (Reboot West One) has been funded since 2018 through the Department for Education’s Social Care Innovation Fund and social investor, Bridges Fund Management.
  • Since August 2018, Reboot West One has worked with 237 young people in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BANES and North Somerset.
  • Summary of impact in October 2021:
    • 163 young people have started education or training courses (including 12 who have started university)
    • 119 young people have entered work
    • When they joined Reboot West, only 27% of the young people were in education or employment, at October 2021 that figure was 56%.


Reboot West Two

  • We are delighted to have been awarded grant funding by Youth Futures Foundation and the West of England Combined Authority to extend and expand the Reboot programme until March 2025.
  • The £1.6 million award includes £875,000 from Youth Futures and £720,000 from the Combined Authority. It secures our ability to support over 150 young people who are leaving care to prepare for and find paid work.
  • While local authorities are responsible for supporting young people leaving care, the Combined Authority is responsible for boosting the region’s employment and skills system. This project’s partnership approach across the region means young care leavers will benefit from the Combined Authority’s relationships with employers to find supportive work placements.


Anna Smee, CEO, Youth Futures said:

“Young care leavers are more likely to become disengaged from the labour market because of lack of support at transition points in their life. They may have additional emotional and wellbeing needs that need to be met to build confidence, skills and move into paid employment. That’s why we’re supporting 1625IP’s holistic approach. We’re committed to investing in potential to identify ‘what works’ to initiate new ways of working that could be scaled up nationally. This partnership will support our ambitions and deliver our vision.”

Dan Norris, West of England Mayor said:

“As a ‘jobs first’ Metro Mayor, I’m determined to ensure that everyone in our region is given the opportunities and support they need to begin and secure a good career, whatever their situation is. I’m proud to lead the West of England Combined Authority which is helping to provide worthwhile projects like Reboot West and get more people into work.” 

Jordyn, a young person on the Reboot West project said:

“My Reboot Coach nurtured me and helped me to regain my confidence and independence, as well as helping me to build up my self-worth and self-respect to prepare me for my future career. I have been so lucky to experience care in such a beautiful and fulfilling way, not only with the support of Reboot but also with support from past carers and with the support of my family.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said:

“Young people have been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in terms of their education, employment and overall wellbeing. This funding will extend the project’s vital work at this critical time and offer an holistic approach for young people. The programme will help ensure care leavers are offered the best possible start in their professional lives; gaining the support and skills they need to thrive and prosper in adulthood.”

Cllr Sam Bromiley, South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

“We know how important it is to prevent feelings of isolation and provide care leavers with the emotional and practical support, education and training they need to lead successful, independent lives. Through partnership working we are able to combine our resources and ensure that we’re giving care leavers the best possible opportunities as they begin their lives after care. We have a long-standing relationship with 1625IP and look forward to continuing to see improved outcomes for care leavers across the area.”

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture at Bath & North East Somerset Council said: 

“This is fantastic news.  The programme has supported a number of young people across Bath and North East Somerset into training and employment and this significant funding boost will ensure many more care leavers are given the best possible opportunities to lead successful, independent lives and achieve their potential after care.”

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council Executive Member for Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning, said: 

“During Covid many Care Leavers have experienced intense isolation and Reboot has been creative in building confidence and motivation to get back on track with their EET action plans. By working in partnership with employers and learning institutions, Reboot has been able to get priority opportunities for Care Leavers, this is particularly something we look forward to developing further through our economic development work.”

Dom Wood, CEO 1625 Independent People said:

“We are delighted to have received such significant support from the West of England Combined Authority and the Youth Futures Foundation. Young people leaving care are hugely talented and we are determined that they can access jobs, education and training so they can succeed in life. This is a partnership with 1625ip coaches working alongside local authority leaving care teams, employers and training providers, with the success of our approach being a credit to everyone involved, and most importantly to the young people who have shown such strength and perseverance through these hard times. This funding provides a huge opportunity to support more care leavers into employment and we will be working closely with employers, colleges, local authorities, the voluntary sector and training providers to ensure that opportunities are meaningful and supportive”.

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