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Case StudiesREACH National Role Modelling Programme

Inspiring black boys and young black men to aim higher and achieve more

The Brief

REACH – a project led jointly by the black community and government – was designed to raise the aspirations and achievements of black boys and young black men against a background of educational under-achievement, low employment and overrepresentation in the Criminal Justice System. Among other activities, REACH established a national role modelling programme.

The brief was to find out if role modelling works, for whom and in what way. In particular, the evaluation looked for evidence of attitudinal change, such as:

  • increases in self-esteem and self-confidence
  • more positive attitudes towards school and work
  • enhanced motivation to access support and training
  • a commitment to rejecting crime
  • greater understanding of the factors that restrict achievement
  • greater resilience to adversity and positive success strategies

The challenges they faced

  • Working successfully with REACH experts, programme managers, government researchers, the role models, children and young people, schools, community groups and prisons
  • Establishing a baseline to track the impact of the programme over time
  • Understanding precisely what makes a successful role model for black boys and young black men
  • Exploring whether learning and lessons from REACH can translate to other role model programmes to address other issues

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