As a Year 8 student, Rickardo had a bit of a tough time with his attendance which concerned his teachers. He was struggling to mange the day-to-day challenges of secondary school. His attendance and punctuality coupled with the distance that he lived meant that getting involved in his school community wasn’t always possible. Despite this, Rickardo wanted to improve his singing but could not find a way to get involved with the activities on offer at his school.
Rickardo joined HeadStart Champions on recommendation of his teacher as a way to improve his attendance and punctuality and his general interest in his school community. Rickardo was a little dubious to start the programme but after a few sessions he decided to become a fulltime HeadStart Champion. Through HeadStart and the support of his school, Rickardo began to speak up and speak out about ways his school could improve the way they support him and his peers to be more involved in school life.
As a HeadStart Champion, Rickardo attends bi-weekly meetings at his local youth centre with students from schools across the borough. Working alongside HeadStart’s Co-Production Lead, Rickardo and his peers contribute to everything from the design of the new HeadStart website to planning annual events to informing the evaluation of the HeadStart programme.