Acton Community Center, Unit A, Munster Court, Bollo Bridge Rd, London W3 8UU
Degrees of Opportunity: A Conversation

RollaDome’s main flagship offering is its Degrees of Opportunity programme. I spoke to Ree, the scheme’s director, to find out more information about this worthwhile charitable cause.

“We started the programme during the pandemic and it is in its fourth year”, Ree explained to me. “The aims of the programme are to help young people achieve their goals. Career goals. Their educational goals so that they can get the careers that they like.”

Speaking conversationally about the programme, she said “It runs for 12 weeks and so can take between 6-10 students at any one time. We are currently making arrangements for young people to obtain work experience on a construction site.”

“We help them to find their voice and to get into a career path that they desire. We also encourage them to take their hobbies seriously”.

So far, feedback from the scheme has been positive. The scheme’s participants have enjoyed their work experience, and get to help out with the classes. One of the participants on the scheme takes part in the South Bank choir and enjoys the opportunity to explore new places and the change in his physical and social environment.

Ree explained about the funding options for the scheme. “Its funded by three major organisations,” she explained. “Hounslow Council, CIVA, and the Heathrow Trust”.

CIVA wanted to explore ways in which young people could be challenged to engage more and develop more skills. The organisation works with several childrens organisations to challenge young adults to create their own projects and make their own choices as to how they want to live their life. It describes Degrees of Opportunity as being “all about Survival Skills”. The organisation will join students with the right college to help get accredited certificates for activities learned and mastered on the programme.

The origins of the idea were founded in a European scheme to encourage sport for education and leadership. It aims to encourage an alternative schedule of activities and ways to learn new skills to university or a certificate of education.

Anne-Marie Waugh, founder of the programme, explained that she created the scheme to give youth a way of choosing their own educational settings and studying tracks and to give them credit for their achievements outside of the classroom. The scheme is for 16-24 year olds and is a journey of self-discovery and building, through planning, preparation and a neighbourhood to uphold.

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