HUNDREDS attended an awards ceremony for children involved in a programme to teach ‘soft skills’ which are important to employers but not always taught in the classroom.

A crowd of more than 200 gathered at The Forum in Barrow to acknowledge the great work of Year Seven children from Walney School, Furness Academy, St Bernard’s Catholic High School, Dowdales School and Ulverston Victoria High School.

The selected children had just completed The Inspiring Barrow Kickstart Programme, which began in early May and focused on developing social skills such as teamwork, resilience, leadership, emotional resilience and communication.

Project lead David Cassidy said: “The programme is designed to complement the skills children use in the classroom. These are skills that every employer is looking for in the workplace.

“Thanks to the National Lottery, Children in Need and Cumbria Community Foundation for working with us in the past three years, and we look forward to working with future funders partners, both locally and nationally, moving forward.”

Awards were presented by Mayor Hayley Preston, who said she was ‘thrilled to be invited and share in the success of the children’.

The programme was originally set up nine years ago but has gone through various iterations to find itself in its current form, where children take part in after-school and half-term sessions, enjoying trips to The Kepplewray Centre in Broughton at half-term.

All children that attended the programme received certificates of completion with five students who excelled on the programme receiving special recognition.

These were: Weston Bradley (Furness Academy) Improved Confidence; Dylan Murphy (Walney school) Teamwork; Maigan Farrish (St Bernard’s Catholic High School) Communication; Darcie Louis (Dowdales School) Resilience; and Sam Sibley (Ulverston Victoria High School) Leadership.

The programme works with 21 schools in total across Furness, working with Year Six from September to December, Year Eight from January to Easter, and Year Seven from Easter until July.