Are you one of the many people who left school wondering who you are and with no idea what to do with yourself? Did you then spend many years trying to figure out how to love your work?
Things haven’t changed and the mainstream school system seems to be forever shrinking their success criteria ‘box’, which ultimately means thousands of children are often let down, left without a school place or parents taking the decision to home educate.
Spiritus was set up after we took our own children out of mainstream school a few years ago and decided to home educate them.
The difference in their level of confidence, reduced anxiety, mental wellbeing and happiness was amazing. The one thing we quickly identified is although there are many fantastic in-person workshops for young people available, many of them require parent attendance (which can prove difficult for working mums and dads) – many home educated young people we came across also expressed wanting to learn again in structured lessons, in person, socialise, and still have the opportunity to work towards educational qualifications.
We started https://www.spiritus.org.uk/ in April 2021.
An in person non for profit study group setting for children, based in Hammersmith for home educated and flexi schooled young people.
We provide various topics, lessons & workshops throughout the week.
Spiritus allows young people to continue to experience childhood without the pressure of the school environment leading to ‘burn out’ from the weight of expectation.
Young people who attend Spiritus are encouraged to celebrate their unique selves and become confident and self-motivated learners. This is achieved by us facilitating a range of workshops and learning experiences that focus on the creativity and individuality of the learners.
Many of the young people that attend miss learning in a group setting, lessons, sports & socially being with similar aged peers.
There have been young people coming in who are really struggling with anxiety, unable to even communicate or physically join any group setting or form friendships… within hours or days, interacting, running around laughing, being around children again with joy across their faces, forming heart warming bonds with each other. One child that attends said, ‘Being at Spiritus feels like for the first time I can just be myself and that’s ok..’.
To see that once again these young people can love to learn, see their confidence increasing, anxiety reducing and excitement to come in each day – goes to show it really is the environment, not the child that needs to be changed. All young people are entitled to this chance.
Here is where we need YOUR HELP.
Families who elect or who have no other option but to home educate their children get no financial help from the government whatsoever.
We ultimately dream to be able to offer this service for free! Why should home educated young people not receive a free education as well?
There are many families who home educate their children on a low income and have to work. We are a non-profit organisation and keep our costs very low but, even so, the cost for a child to attend all of our workshops across 4 days is still a minimum of £100 a week.
Most of our costs are for teachers and what we pay for each term ranges from £240 for maths to £864 for sports. We also need a permanent home as where we are now is temporary and is kindly being provided to us for free.
We urgently need financial contribution and community donations to help us continue to be able to provide this space, buy additional equipment to accommodate our increasing numbers and of course be able to fund places for families that cannot pay.
Every penny helps and is gratefully received by us.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story and visit this page.
With love, Jacqui, Gemma and the Young People of Spiritus.