Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers uses a unique combination of rowing and mentoring to develop young people’s life and employability skills.

We engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and give them the opportunity to work with corporate mentors. The project recognises that the skills required to be a successful rower, are also necessary for success in the classroom and in the workplace.

In partnership with PWC and Tideway, the Breaking Barriers initiative aims to maximise the positive impact we have on our young people’s lives through a 12-week programme of life skills mentorship that runs alongside their on-water rowing sessions. We have partnered up 4 schools in East London who refer young people onto the programme. Our corporate partners provide experienced professional mentors and routes into work placements and career opportunities.

We work with up to 10 corporate mentors on an annual basis who invest the equivalent of 3 days of their time through their own corporate volunteering schemes. Mentors work with young people to set and achieve targets on a fortnightly basis. Our corporate partners offer work placements to specific mentees who would benefit from the experience. Going forward, LYR are working on developing partnerships with tertiary education institutions to allow for specific pathways from the Breaking Barriers programme into further education opportunities for mentees.