Alternative education provider Urban Pursuit secures £55k investment to support more young people struggling at school

Bristol-based alternative learning provider Urban Pursuit has secured an investment of £55k through local impact investors BBRC (Bristol & Bath Regional Capital) to support its work with local young people who are struggling with their education.

The investment from the BBRC-managed City Funds impact investment fund will enable the organisation to take on a new operating base in Bristol’s Cumberland Basin and meet the growing demand from Bristol schools. It will also support the development of two new accredited vocational training courses, which will equip pupils with qualifications such as being able to cook and repair bicycles.

Urban Pursuit delivers an ‘adventure curriculum’ involving mentoring, outdoor activities and adventure sports for young people who are having difficulties with or excluded from mainstream schools, which is paid for by the schools.

The curriculum consists of a package of personal and social development activities to engage the young people and allow them to reintegrate into the education system. It also helps them to develop a variety of additional life skills.

Jari Moate, investment director at BBRC, says: “We are thrilled to support Urban Pursuit with its mission to empower and uplift young people facing challenges in mainstream education.

“The team at Urban Pursuit has already seen great success and this investment from City Funds reflects a commitment to fostering further positive impact within our local communities by addressing challenges faced by schools across Bristol.

“The investment will not only provide a new operating base, but also help to deliver two new training programmes giving pupils that take part accredited qualifications which in turn helps to support them with their personal development.”

Neil Dennison, chief executive at Urban Pursuit, says: “Through our social intervention programmes, we reduce school exclusions, increase attendance, and improve young peoples’ wellbeing. It is fantastic to have secured this investment from BBRC, it means we can get straight on with our growth plans and take our support network to the next level.

“Not only do we have two new vocational courses but a new base of operations right in Bristol, which will enable us to help even more kids get the support they need to get the best from themselves and thrive.”

The company was set up in 2011 by Neil and Emma Dennison, after careers in youth work led to a strong understanding of the issues faced by young people. It supports around 70 students per week.

This new property will allow Urban Pursuit to expand to meet the growing demand from Bristol schools as well as developing two new product lines of accredited vocational training – bicycle maintenance and cooking.

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