Empowering young people to succeed

We are a learning and leadership hub as part of The Mix – extending its offer to support young people. 


Our vision is for every young person to be empowered and enabled to change their world and ours. 


We believe in young people. All young people. All the time. 

We believe they have immeasurable worth and are valuable, exceptional and unique. 

We strive every day to provide & enable the opportunities, services, support & challenge that young people want and need so that they can discover their true value and build their best future. 


At The Mix, we have a relentless commitment to and passion for young people. We will never stop believing in them and will never stop working for their best.

Thrive @ The Mix

Our Team
Kirstie Land

Thrive Director and Safeguarding Lead

Beth Malcolm

Thrive Youth Worker

Amy Nunn

Thrive Youth Worker

Kat Johnston

Thrive Teacher

Liz Currell

Thrive Teacher

... not forgetting our amazing team

of volunteers too!

Who we are

Thrive @ The Mix is a team of qualified teachers, youth workers and volunteers. 


We believe that young people need to believe in themselves to thrive in life and learning, and that is our starting point. We want to provide young people with the opportunity to get to know who they really are and build on their uniqueness from there. We know that once they start to develop that confidence, they will thrive in becoming the best version of themselves. We focus on leading young people to develop positive thinking, to build resilience, grow perseverance, develop character and pursue excellence. Each young person’s personal growth and academic learning will then soar. 


We keep our knowledge and experience up-to-date through working part-time in local mainstream and PRU settings and at The Mix to ensure our young people get the best support possible. Within our team, we have curriculum experts, SEN experience and SEMH specialists to support students in all their needs. 


Why we exist

School exclusions in England cost the government £2.1 billion per cohort, with a 35% rise in exclusions over the past few years. Local Headteachers talk of a common theme where many young people struggle to lead and motivate themselves to tackle everyday problems.


Whilst some students thrive in mainstream school, an increasing number struggle with feelings of inadequacy, lack of aspiration, hopelessness and anxiety- all of which have a significant impact on their personal well-being and progress. 



What we offer

We are able to offer a different learning environment from the mainstream for those who need it. We have a bespoke learning classroom within The Mix, as well as all the facilities on hand that The Mix and local community have to offer. 


Our Leadership for Life training, run in conjunction with Emerging Leaders, underpins all that we are and all that we do. School feedback from this project shows a change in mindset so young people can see their amazing potential and write a life story that they can be proud of. “Real impact can be seen in the (young people) who have done it. It is empirical and in the data,” quoted by one of the teachers in the feedback meeting after the Suffolk pilot.


Where we are purposeful in the teaching of character education, you can generate young people who are resilient and will bring hope and leadership to their lives and others. 


372 children completed the pilot:

  • 72% improved in their self worth 

  • 69% improved in empathy with others 

  • 69% improved in their social interaction with others 

This, in turn, led to increased attendance (42% of them) and increased rates of progress in their curriculum engagement. 


Our programme at The Mix consists of: 


Lead your Life training: 

  • Leadership for Life / Lead Now training - moving on from poverty mindsets and stuck thinking to grow their leadership. Focussing on: positive thinking, building resilience, growing perseverance, developing character and pursuing excellence.

  • Coaching and Counselling – support in overcoming barriers through empowering young people to know who they are 

  • Peer mentoring – working alongside like-minded young people 


Project-based learning – Thrive Thursdays: 

We create projects based around the needs and interests of our students, working alongside local businesses. These can include: 

  • Commercial design and branding

  • Engineering and carpentry 

  • Commercial cafe and catering experience

  • Professional photography and cinematography

  • Healthy lifestyles programme

  • Sport, physical fitness and training

  • Bespoke business and enterprise 

and many more.


Academic learning – Thrive Fridays: 

Any or all of the following can be built into a student’s personalised learning timetable. 

  • Maths and English tuition – at KS3, GCSE and/or functional skills 

  • Tuition in all main subject areas

  • PSHE, Citizenship and Life Skills learning 

  • Personal Careers Information Advice and Guidance


Students are catered for based on their learning needs and interests, in liaison with their school, covering content from any exam syllabus. Alternative accreditations are available upon request.


How we work

We offer full day placements for students in Years 7-11 for one or two days a week over a term, or longer if requested. 

The day comprises of Leadership for Life, academic and/or project-based learning and is bespoke to totally suit each individual. 


Who we work with

We are a team of experienced teachers and professionals who are keen to work alongside all agencies working with a young person. 


We are happy to be involved with SEN coordinators and have input into EHCPs. We are keen to liaise with wider professionals within the Early Help Teams around FNM/CiN/PEP etc documentation and meetings. 

We expect to have regular contact with schools, providing feedback, monitoring and details of outcomes. 


We work closely with families, alongside the school, in encouraging and supporting their involvement. We are part of our local community, working alongside other projects and schools to support the community.


We love working with local businesses, supporting our young people to broaden their experiences and explore the world of work. We have projects working alongside all businesses at The Mix as well as some locally, including Touchline, The Men’s Shed and Scorpion Martial Arts Academy.


We have been Quality Assured by Suffolk County Council who monitor our practice and procedures and have taken part in school’s OFSTED inspections. 


All our staff are fully safeguarding trained and DBS checked.


The impact

Our first year has been amazing! Thank you for all those who have been part of our journey. 

Some of our highlights have been: 


  • Empowering young people to re-engage in education and have hope for their future for the first time in a number of years 

  • Supporting a number of Year 11 students to believe in themselves enough to successfully access all their exams 

  • Working with Stowmarket Men’s Shed to enable our young people to design and make an outdoor kitchen for Chilton Primary School and design and build their own go-kart

  • Designing a project with Touchline to grow our young people’s business skills through designing, manufacturing and advertising their own clothing brand

  • Creating a place of hope and building aspirations for many young people and their families – impacting their day, their week and their wider life 

  • Receiving regular positive feedback from young people, families, schools and wider professionals about the impact Thrive is having on mindsets and attitudes 

  • Making ourselves redundant as young people are enabled to thrive in their mainstream school full-time after their support at Thrive 


Our staff have proven track record in working effectively with young people including: 

  • Engaging young people in positive dialogue, self-reflection and evaluation 

  • Re-envisioning young people to know who they are, believe in themselves as valuable and exceptional 

  • Empowering young people to lead themselves and others forward 

  • Providing bespoke opportunities for each young person relevant to their personal and learning needs 

  • Enabling the young person to feel and be more able to thrive in their world, including school 

  • Inspiring young people to better themselves through qualifications and training 


Your students will learn to be self-believers, independent workers, focused leaders and be empowered to make progress in their life and learning.


How to refer
  1. Contact us and outline the student needs 

  2. We meet with you and student to get to know them and discuss ideas 

  3. School and student complete and submit an application form 

  4. We create an initial plan with the school and student 

  5. Student completes Leadership for Life introduction and begins to plan their next steps programme 

  6. The programme begins with clear goals and planned outcomes and is monitored with regular feedback


By Phone: 01449 745130
By Email: kirstie.land@themixstowmarket.co.uk
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hello@themixstowmarket.co.uk​  |  Tel: 01449 745130

Charity number: 1149539    Company number: 8010191

© 2018