Gateways – UK
The number of young Jewish people who struggle to function within mainstream schools is increasing.
Gateways is the community’s only alternative education provision offering a safe space for young people aged 14 to 25, who are striving to overcome emotional and social challenges, often as a result of serious illness. In September 2023, due to increased demand and its continued success and growth, it has graduated to became an independent charity.
Founded by Laurence Field at the London Jewish Community Centre in 2013, Gateways progressed to become a core social action programme for seven years at JW3.
The Wohl Legacy has been a key partner at Gateways, initially offering seed funding and subsequently partnering with The Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation. Gateways is now a Wohl Ronson Partnership.
Its new home is a welcoming and inviting space. Based in Hendon, the multi-functional rooms allow this unique educational provision to offer even more subjects and cater for more young Jewish people missing out on mainstream education. With a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and facilities to offer science, maths, English, photography, IT and hair and beauty qualifications, they have plans to widen the curriculum further too. A courtyard, café and lounge area add to the relaxed atmosphere, all created with the current and future cohort of students in mind.
The Gateways’ model has evidence predicated on the approach of a pathway to progression; students have a choice of mainstream and vocational subjects, with 98% of students graduating with qualifications and the confidence to move towards further education or employment. They are offered advice and one-to-one support with job and college applications, CV writing and interview preparation, as well as part-time and short-term work placements.
Throughout their time at Gateways, students are also offered counselling, mentoring and support, to get them through a difficult stage in their life, ultimately offering them a pathway to employment.
Gateways has been built from the community, responding to the needs of the community and has developed and grown with the demands of community.