Building Futures

A fulltime

Community-based learning programme

A fulltime community-based learning programme that nurtures the independence, enriches the lives, continues the education, and builds the futures of our young people.
Building Futures is a full-time option that runs 4 days per week.

Take a look

Learn more about Building Futures

This is a successful, unique and highly regarded programme, which halow have been running since 2009.


Many young people come to us after formal education has ended for them. This can be a traumatic time for both the young people and their families, as many of the services and relationships they have relied on, come to an end. 


Goals such as further independence or work may not be an immediate option and we find that young people often need other means of learning new things, gaining vital new skills in the community and challenging themselves, to aid their growth and development and prevent them becoming socially isolated.


Building Futures is a highly person-centred programme. In our small group environment, we can focus on each individual young person’s goals and development as they grow through the programme, whilst all benefit from the group dynamic and community-based setting.


We have grown to now run 3 developmental year groups.

Some of what

Makes us different

  • We purposefully do not use one venue; we base ourselves within the Guildford community, using local venues and partnerships. We also do not use our own transport; using the local buses or trains most days. This means everyone develops their independence skills and public transport skills.
  • In contrast to formal education, young people are immersed in the community, learning more about it every day.
  • We are very much a group of people, not a class… all of the young people learn together, help each other, achieve together, and grow in confidence together.
  • Person-Centred Planning: ever more prevalent in our sector, but this has always been fundamental to our Building Futures. We do a weekly session on PCP, work on and track SMART short and long term goals, and also hold 2 outcomes focused PCP meetings for each young person during the year- which they help to prepare themselves.
  • Our curriculum is not fixed. The sessions we do are based on and picked by our young people. We can develop sessions around shared short-term goals and learning … so no two year groups are ever the same!

More about our sessions

  • Four days per week is classed as a full-time programme because we want to give people the option of using the fifth day to pursue their own interests; be it specific learning goals, volunteer / paid work, 1:1 support hours, chores at home, or just to have a break!
  • Our sessions include many things that young people often still want to and / or need to learn more about; whether it be our weekly relationships session (where we talk about everything from friendship to loving relationships, and from changing family relationships to relationships on social media); or our person centred planning session where we talk about aspirations, bitesize targets, and how we will get there.
  • Work and Independence are another key theme, explored through weekly group work experience with our fantastic local partnership organisations, and our Wider World sessions.
  • We also then focus on a healthy lifestyle, confidence building, teamwork (and related occupation & independence) through healthy living, team time, and outdoor learning sessions.
  • We follow educational term dates, but then offer optional holiday activities (often picked by young people). This means we run service for 49 weeks of the year.
  • We view our timetable as holistic; we can apply anything that someone needs to learn for their future, to one of our sessions.

Our year groups

We now run our Years A-C concurrently. We call the year groups A-C to distance ourselves from formal education. Most young people join us in Year A, but it is key to our philosophy that any young person does not have to work through our year groups sequentially.


For example, we have had young people move on after 1 year as they had used their skills to build a sequence of other jobs and supported work. We have other young people join us in Year B, as developmentally we felt this was a better fit to their goals.

Look at

Our Outcomes

We view our outcomes as the genuine real life changes that people make with us, or after they leave our programme. We are trying to build their futures. Some example outcomes for young people have included…


-a 6-week placement, leading to a paid job at Waitrose.

halow ‘Philips’ placement, leading to paid work

-Paid work at Superdry, their dream job!

-Supporting with Building Futures as a volunteer

-A paid dog walking job

-Volunteering at a public café

-Volunteering a charity shop

-Volunteering at a charity cafe

-Volunteering at the Bike Project

-Work based learning at Frimhurst Enterprise

-Contact with a disability modelling agency in London

-Becoming a dance teacher at Stop Gap

-Many Young People have moved on to EmployAbility

-Work placement with the Growth Team

-Work placement at Mane Chance

-Volunteer work at Watts Gallery

-Paid work with a Tree Surgery company

-Voluntary work at the Brain Tumour Trust

-Paid gardening job

-Paid work at Costa Coffee

-Volunteering at a care home


-Fully independent travel

-Going to University

-Focused adult vocational learning: Photography, dance, art, etc.

-Further therapeutic support

-Successfully learning to drive

-Moving on to other halow services

-Have started doing their own housework

-Have started making their own lunch

-Cooking and kitchen skills.

-Learnt to tell the time

-Travelling to lots of new places independently on buses and trains

-learning to handle their own money

-Opening a bank account.

-Planning and delivering a session to other young people


All young people leave the programme as more independent.

-Many young people have moved into their own home.

-Many young people live more independently in their family home.

-Having a halow Buddy to help at home and beyond.

-Gaining more / 1:1 support


All young people develop their social skills, network, and confidence.

-Building real friendships

-Being part of the halow community.

-Meeting up outside Building Futures.

-Getting a boyfriend / girlfriend

-Year Cs presenting at a national conference

-Being invited to Birthday parties

-Access to halow Social Activities

-Accessing night club evenings

-Accessing other charity’s events.

-Accessing bespoke cultural events

-Joining a gym

-Joining the halow Youth Committee

Get in touch to 

Find out more

Building Futures runs four days per week for 49 weeks of the year. There is a cost for this programme and is therefore suitable for young people with their own funding or a personal budget. For more information or to refer a young person to this program please contact Graham.O’

Get your monthly halow fix

Sign up to our newsletter

We love letting people know about everything we have been up to at the halow project. Sign up to day to let us keep you in the loop.