CatZero is a unique, not-for-profit organisation which has expert staff delivering projects for young people. It is an award winning registered charity specifically designed to meet the holistic needs of young people and their families.
It was inspired by the positive impact of the participation in the 2007/8 Clipper round the world yacht race on board the Hull and Humber vessel by 10 young people from Hull who were not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
CatZero work with the most hard to reach young people through the delivery of innovative youth development training programmes which allows participants to self-assess their needs and set their own targets in order to improve their lives. The programmes take young people outside their comfort zone to complete a number of tasks. These include training sessions, introduction to employment and education opportunities, links to local community activities leading to a sailing challenge, on board a 72ft challenge-racing yacht as a full crew member. This enables them to demonstrate their ability to work alongside local volunteers, business and community leaders as equals.
CatZero see being NEET as just a title given to young people and it is often an indicator of other underlying issues, or as CatZero likes to call them, challenges.
The programmes are a balance between challenge and support. CatZero challenges people through personal action plans, challenging activities and personal goal setting which enables them to understand where they currently are, plan where they would like to be and then support them, through a process of positive activities and training, plan how to improve their lives and put steps in place to achieve their own goals.
CatZero’s success is undoubtedly based on the development of its innovative approach to working with young people and the underlying principles of identifying and using best practice, ensuring participants are engaged in all elements of planning, delivery and review, working in partnership with local employers, activity providers and accessing the most appropriate services to meet individual needs.
CatZero’s primary aim is to move young people into positive outcomes, through a process of increasing motivation, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Category Zero, or CatZero, is the rating for vessels registered to navigate all international waters – there are no limits. The aim is to equip young people with the skills, belief and attitudes to help them move on in the world.
"Thanks for all your hard work, dedication, help and encouragement ... although he didn't want to ask at first about your programme (too shy) he has enjoyed himself more and more, making good friends along the way ... he looked forward to each activity, had purpose to his day and realised how lucky he was to be included in the 10 week journey" (parents of a recent JCP participant)
"Preparing for every eventuality is as important in real life as much as it is at sea. Young people could really learn a lot on the programme." (Stacey Blyth, lead administrator Young People’s Support Service, speaking to Grimsby Telegraph, 29/06/12)
The Humber area has up to two times the national average of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET). After the decision was taken to form CatZero, NHS funding was secured for the 72 foot Challenge Racing Yacht “CatZero”. The project was then successfully awarded WNF money by the Local Strategic partnership ‘OneHull’ to work with some of Hull’s most difficult to reach young people aged 16-18 who were classified as NEET.
Following the success of the initial Hull project, CatZero extended into other areas in the region including North East Lincolnshire and the East Riding, providing programmes for young people up to the age of 24. CatZero are also now developing the first programmes in North Lincolnshire (based in Scunthorpe) and Goole.
Statistically at risk from significant health and social problems, NEET classified young people can be in a potentially vulnerable position, being up to 70% more likely to experiment with drugs and up to 3 times more likely to offend. They also represent a tremendous cost to the taxpayer over the course of a lifetime.
The CatZero programme invests to save and also improves the lives of individual as well as the local community.
"CatZero gives youngsters the skills, confidence and motivation to develop into successful individuals - a win-win for local people and local businesses.” (Dr Paul Sewell, Managing Director, Sewell Group, speaking to www.sewell-group.co.uk, 24/02/12)
"Thanks again, the programme was brilliant, and as you said on Friday 'the programme works' - it does and we are grateful" (parents of a recent JCP participant)