Students from the Transition To Work Course first teamed up with Heads Together back in 1989. The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television acted as match-maker organising a one-off workshop attended by students and staff. The partnership between Heads Together and Shipley College developed quickly. It became apparent that a combination of creative arts work - photography, dance, theatre, video - could help to develop the students' confidence and self-esteem; key objectives of the Transition Course.

In 1993, the project was first awarded European Social Funding under the HORIZON Programme with partner organisations in Ireland. It was singled out as a Model of Good Practice by the ESF in 1994 - the report highlighted several features:

"It was imaginative and focused imagination on an identified need. It mixed the right inputs and people at an appropriate stage."
Between 1995 and 1997 the Project received further European funding under the YOUTHSTART Programme to further develop the methodology of the work and highlight on the way creative work could be used as an integral part of a practical training course. Again the project received special praise in the evaluation of the YOUTHSTART Programme and was filmed by the Department for Education and Employment in early 1998 as an example of best practice. The resulting video - EMPLOYABILITY - was shown to all European Education Ministers at an EU meeting in February 1998.

The Self-Image Project continues to develop both within the Transition To Work Course and further afield. Staff from the Project are working closely with Policy Managers at the Department for Education and Employment responsible for the Government's New Start Programme; identifying innovative ways of working with disengaged young people. On a European level the Project continues to develop partnerships and work with policy-makers to ensure that a creative methodology is incorporated into all training situations.


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