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Congratulations to Clare Richards - Plewlands 1989

Congratulations to Clare Richards (Plewlands 1989), Chief Executive of The ClementJames Centre and a founder and trustee of the IntoUniversity charity, who has been awarded an MBE for services to the community in North Kensington

The ClementJames Centre is located in an area of multiple deprivation in North Kensington.  It is an award-winning charity that delivers a rounded programme of educational, employment and pastoral support; providing opportunities to enable over 1000 local people each year to achieve their potential. The charity provides a centre-based service with a positive, aspirational ethos.  The centre is a distinctive place of belonging for students, chosen by them and available all year round. The charity works closely in partnership with other institutions including primary and secondary schools, universities, cultural institutions, other voluntary sector organisations and corporates.

It offers:
Communicate – An adult Learning Programme that offers 13 ESOL (English as a Second Language) and Basic Skills courses that are tailored to meet the changing needs of individuals, enabling them to play a fuller role in the community and realise their potential. We offer both daytime and evening courses and the majority of our courses are accredited. Last academic year, 160 students regularly attended an adult learning course, including a group of 34 domestic workers attending ESOL classes on Sundays.  100% of students on the IELTS course (higher level ESOL) passed their exam and progressed to university or employment.


IntoUniversity - An innovative programme of support for young people enabling them to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration.  In the last academic year, over 335 students attended Academic Support, 754 were involved in various parts of the FOCUS Programme and 148 students had an IntoUniversity mentor or took part in Buddy Days.  67% of IntoUniversity’s Year 13 students progressed directly to university (with 42% going to a high status university), a further 26% studying for a future university place and 7% in employment, apprenticeship or vocational training.  This compared to 43% of year 13 students nationally progressing directly to university and 24% nationally on free school meals (IntoUniversity’s target group).

We provide:

  • Academic Support - after-school and one-to-one help with homework, coursework, literacy and numeracy, exam techniques and applications from our trained tutors.
  • FOCUS - a learning experience that aims to immerse them in a single topic or subject area, concluding with certificates and a celebration of the young people’s work.
  • Mentoring – Students are paired with undergraduates or graduates from our Corporate partners, who provide help with schoolwork, social and inter-personal skills, and confidence-building.
  • Aspire and Achieve - leadership and personal development training;

IntoWork – is a new multi-stranded, adult employment programme designed to break the cycle of generations of unemployment in the local population and enable local long-term unemployed to find secure employment.  The programme is structured to identify needs; break barriers to work; identify job and training opportunities; develop confidence and transferable skills and provide experience.  The programme includes a needs assessment; benefit and work advice; interview, CV and application preparation; work experience opportunities; IT courses; career coaching; personal development courses and provision of clothing.

The charity also acts as a Community Centre, the activities of which include:

  • Community Garden, providing an outdoor recreational space and classroom
  • Community Lunch, every Wednesday during term-time
  • Community Shop, providing clothing and goods for individuals and families on low incomes
  • Support, Guidance & Training, for local organisations and individuals
  • Premises, made available for the use of other community groups.

The IntoUniversity Charity
The vast growth and succsess of the IntoUniversity programme resulted in expansion of the programme and the creation of IntoUniversity as a charity in its own right in 2007.  Clare Richards is a founder and trustee of the IntoUniversity charity which now has 7 centres across London, a centre opening in Nottingham and a further 6 centres planned by 2013.

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