A social mobility charity that helps disadvantaged youngsters gain insight into science, tech and maths careers has been awarded more than £96,000 in funding.

In2ScienceUK, has been given a £96,745 grant from the Cadent Foundation, which will be used to launch new programmes in deprived areas across East Lancashire and the North West.

The charity uses the passion of STEM experts and engineering professionals to support young people to achieve their potential through work-placements, skills days and workshops.

In 2020, In2scienceUK took its programmes online through a high-quality virtual STEM learning portal, and this year the charity is determined to support more young people to reach their potential.

The new funding will support 160 youngsters, who will become the first Cadent Foundation Scholars to participate in an innovative three-step programme that includes mentorship and placements; an online research module to give an insight into engineering research; and workshops on careers and employability skills such as CV writing and interview techniques.

Founder and CEO of In2scienceUK, Rebecca McKelvey, said: “Poverty and social background are huge barriers to progressing to careers within STEM.

"If students don’t receive the right guidance and support through their schools and personal networks, they may never consider pursuing a career within this sector.

“Our mission, to increase diversity and equal opportunity in STEM, has never been so relevant as it is today.

"Covid-19 has only highlighted and added to the disparity of opportunity between young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who are more affluent.

"We must encourage all young people to achieve their potential in STEM, regardless of their background."

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The Cadent Foundation is funded by local gas network Cadent, and has been established to support projects that help people living in vulnerable situations and energy poor communities; protect and preserve the natural environment and support in creating a sustainable energy future for all.

Director of the Cadent Foundation, Julia Dwyer, said: “We are delighted to be able to support In2ScienceUK to expand its fantastic programmes across our networks.

"Through the Cadent Foundation Scholars Programme young people will have the opportunity to build lasting connections and gain valuable insight that will help them to become the next generation of STEM professionals – with access to cutting edge research, inspiring mentors, as well as careers and university access support and advice.

“These programmes are not only life changing for the young people directly involved, they also benefit multiple organisations within each community.

"Schools gain free careers workshops and advice, and for industries, they boost diversity and inclusion in the STEM sector as well as providing a pipeline of skilled workers for the future, supporting the growth of the UK economy.”

For more information about In2ScienceUK, including how you can apply for a place on this year’s programme or if you want to know more about how your school can get involved, visit www.in2scienceuk.org.