KO2 Dirtbiking for Life
Dirtbiking for Life; giving kids a fighting chance to succeed
The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you
Country of residence of entrepreneur
Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?
I certainly do - but pleeeeeeease don't penalize me for being 41. I've been running an online-administrated global volunteering charity since 2006, operating in Kenya and various other places around the world and needed an income so wanted to help my own community as well those in developing countries. I wanted to help the kids struggling at home, in the classroom, getting thrown out of school and wanted to set up a new fun, innovative form of education that would empower young people to succeed.
About Your Organization
KO2 Adventures Community Interest Company
United Kingdom, NYK, Harrogate
Country where this project is creating social impact
United Kingdom, NYK, Ha
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
We will provide innovative solutions to re-engage disadvantaged disillusioned youth back into education and training. Using a new legal format of a Community Interest Company I can empower yongsterss to become socially responsible and assist others to succeed as well as themselves, ultimately reducing the billions in crime-related economic costs, and social costs.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Working on site with a brand new specialist BESD* school KO2 will offer an alternative route to education and employment for students with additional learning needs, students at risk of exclusion from mainstream education, kinesthetic learners, or those already Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET). We provide a higher level of care for 'at risk' young people, dealing with behavioural issues, confidence issues and helping our students to achieve qualifications with the aim of re-integration back into mainstream education.
* behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
KO2 uses fun, exciting technology alongside zero-emission electric dirtbikes and practical training.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
The emergence of ‘social networking’ has revolutionized young peoples relationships with computers; young people’s chosen method of communication, aside from mobile phones. KO2 capitalizes on this by facilitating learning through a familiar, preferred medium of communication. As a Youth Work tool the software encourages disclosure of information that young people may otherwise be reluctant or unable to communicate face to face. Its use can show emotional and mental development essential to our young people, catering for dyslexia and other learning difficulties and allowing individuals to communicate with ease.
Youngsters arrive with us each morning and log-in to the system. Here they'll fill out a section called My Life which begins by asking them straight forward questions like "How are you feeling today" - they'll be clicking answer boxes like "I'm ok", "I'm tired" etc. This uploads to an overall behaviour management system, linked with attendance, monitoring and a full PQASSO quality system to provide evidence of the impact and value of our work. Briefing then takes place in the open plan reception area. Activities are divided between workshops on bike maintenance, workshops on basic electrical engineering, dirt track time, lunch and the overarching Life Routes scheme which accredits the youngsters via 3 key skills:
Working with others
Improving own learning and performance
We work from the Life Routes’ practical resources - both online and offline - and take an innovative flexible approach designed around the individual group. Accreditation is based on the Life Routes scheme. Life skills are particularly important for vulnerable young people with behavioural or emotional difficulties, especially those who may have experienced traumatic life events and are less resilient with fewer coping strategies.
We have a quiet room available for any down-time or one-to-one work with specialist counselors who work with us on a voluntary basis.
At the end of each session students upload a journal of their activities. The website software is extremely user-friendly, meaning negligible training required. All learning evidence is then accessed by the accreditors with full secure ePortal access to all stakeholders.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
We currently have no direct competition in the area. There is an urban site 40 minutes away offering motorbike lessons in Leeds and a school using dirtbikes privately to re-engage students but no one is using electric dirtbikes combined with developmental components. Using electric dirtbikes alone provides career opportunities for each student, in electrical engineering, green transport and environmental solutions. Promoting the aims of The Big Society, giving our community more power to help others and themselves, to develop social enterprise and prove that support saves money and works better than the Criminal Justice System and gives us the social edge to demand corporate investment, as well as selling core activities to the struggling youth services.
Select the stage that best applies to your business
Operating for less than a year
This Entry is about (Issues)
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?
We are in startup but plan on accessing 40 students per week from schools and developing their self-confidence, bringing them round to learning again and assisting them in gaining accreditation. We are also working with the Job Centre to provide volunteering and possible apprenticeships through the UK govt Youth Contract, as well as supported by the Police, Fire Service and Army.
There is a wealth of data evidencing the impact of early intervention and targeted support and the economic value it brings. Reports estimated that a young person in the criminal justice system costs the taxpayer over £200,000 by the age of 16, but one who is given support costs less than £50,000. [‘Tired of Hanging Around’ Audit commission 2009.] That means we can reduce anti-social behaviour costs by 75%.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
Over capacity will initially be a problem as we can only start with 5 staff, and 8 bikes, meaning a max of 40 young people a week. We also will have a significant amount of training to do for each young person joining us from the Job Centre. We want to be as inclusive as possible but CRB checks and Child Protection mean extensive screening must take place which, while important, can also deter those who need the services from joining us.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
We are promoting the use of green technology and teaching the younger generation about zero-emission technology. Involving youth makes a great impact on strengthening democracy. Investment in youth engagement can bring benefits to councils, local areas and young people. Volunteering also plays a significant role in developing the self-confidence and skills of young people and KO2 intends to - in fact needs to - incorporate volunteering to operate efficiently. Youngsters and adults immediately improve their own employability on realising they can influence decision making, take some control and improve their local situation, while gaining the skills required for work and adult life.
Our work is essential in re-engaging young people at risk of becoming NEET (Not in education, employment or training) and supporting them back into learning and training. The average individual lifetime public finance cost of a NEET young person is estimated as £56,300, which equates to almost £12 billion across all NEETs. [NYCC CYPP 2008-11]
Physical & ’hands on’ activities have been proved (through many studies/reports) to keep boys more engaged, concentrated and focused. Research into the role of sport and leisure activities in helping prevent anti-social behaviour concludes that long-term impact would only be achieved by combining these activities with ‘developmental components’ supporting young people to change their behaviour.
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
I have been running a volunteering charity since 2006, administrated purely online, working in Kenya and the Brazilian Amazon and the ingenuity of resource-poor individuals in low-income, impoverished areas is incredible. I've personally become so much more innovative due to the need to become resourceful, efficient and effective. My work in developing countries will be introduced to each of the young people we'll be working with in KO2 as development education is key to understanding perspective. Empowerment to control your own future, to have a stake in your own future is key to development. Enabling others to help themselves via sustainable development WILL enable Africa and other areas to skip many of the pitfalls developed countries have fallen into eg industrial revolution. Mobile internet and green energy are just a couple of the advantages that developing countries have as well as a heightened understanding of resourcefulness.
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
All my work has been in Kenya since 2006 - it will be good to understand how their neighbours live though there will of course be similarities. I look forward to seeing the gorillas!