The Spirit of Goole has a primary aim of helping to educate young people, especially those from deprived backgrounds, in a variety of fields, primarily aviation, engineering & STEM-based subjects. The Spirit of Goole is a charity registered with the Charities Commission number 1159086.
The Spirit of Goole’s focus is to engage and teach young people in or near East Yorkshire including Goole, Scunthorpe, and Doncaster, aged between 13 and 21 in engineering, aviation, and other life skills in a fun and interactive way. To do this, the young people were given the opportunity to join a Youth Build a Plane project in September 2013. This involved teaching the young people involved all of the skills needed to be able to construct a fully operational aircraft before then giving them the tools and materials to actually do it. Throughout the project, the young people learned a wide variety of engineering skills such as metal work, woodwork, working with composites and how to safely use and operate tools and machinery.
Now complete, the aircraft is used as a teaching asset and the young people are taught aviation-based skills including how to fly and operate an aircraft, how aircraft work, navigation, air law, geography as well as how to maintain aircraft.
As well as the Engineering and aviation-based skills themselves, the young people have developed a myriad of other important life skills including team working & communication skills from working together and a build-up in public speaking confidence from promoting TSOG at public events such as air shows, giving them that extra edge in their future employment prospects.
The skills learned with TSOG has even helped some of the young people involved secure engineering-based jobs, for example, two of the students involved have joined the Royal Air Force as Engineers and feel that if it hadn’t of been for their experience with TSOG, they wouldn’t have been capable of doing so.
Even if a young person has no interest in aviation or engineering, TSOG will help them where possible. For example, one of the young girls wanted to be a journalist when they grow up, so TSOG supported them by giving them the tools that allowed them to write articles on the charity, aviation news, youth education and anything else that would give them experience in journalism. With TSOG’s help, the young girl’s talent in journalism was picked up by the Royal Institute of Navigation and she now writes professional articles in the Royal Institute of Navigation’s magazine! TSOG has also provided similar support to students interested in other subjects too including ICT and photography.
The aviation skills taught by TSOG are of that high of a standard, it actually allowed three of TSOG’s students to win trophies within 2014, 2015 and 2017 Youth Top Nav competition, a national navigation competition hosted by the Royal Institute of Navigation. One of the young girls TSOG taught won 1st place in 2014, another won 1st place out of the competitors in the RAF twice, in both 2014 and 2015’s competitions and a young boy won 1st place in 2015 and 2017! These trophies were presented to them all in London by HRH Prince Philip!
These aren’t the only major trophies the students at TSOG have won however, the work done by TSOG’s students is that remarkable, it was actually recognised and six of TSOG’s students were presented with certificates of recognition at the Royal Aero Club in London for earning the runners-up President’s Breitling Trophy by Breitling for their outstanding dedication and commitment to aviation and aerospace.
The youngsters at TSOG are also given a range of opportunities that are not available to general members of the public including free access to some of the biggest events in the country such as large air shows as well as exclusive access to facilities and tours including ones by Jet2 and Rolls Royce!
As well of the skills, job prospects, flying and exclusive opportunities TSOG provides young people with, it also provides personal support to the young people involved. Due to the fun and comfortable atmosphere at TSOG, the young people really begin to trust the adult volunteers at TSOG and often approach them for advice on personal matters. As South Goole is recognised as a super output area, it is often the case these youngsters have come from deprived or tough backgrounds and when first coming to TSOG often suffered from low levels of motivation. However, the adults at TSOG, help support the young people through these situations in a professional manner where possible and after having spent a while with TSOG, a noticeable increase in motivation and self-esteem is noticed throughout the young people.
Today, The Spirit of Goole operates at North Moor, an airfield near Scunthorpe with the majority of its young people being from Doncaster or Goole. TSOG continues to offer young people air experience and teach engineering and aviation-based skills and also has a bunch of new projects underway now the construction of the Sherwood Ranger bi-plane is complete. These include the construction of a STEM trailer, the restoration of a Tiger Cub aircraft, the restoration of two Chevron aircraft, the restoration of a glider, as well as the construction of flight simulators.
However, to provide young people with all of these opportunities and projects comes at a cost. The adults working with the charity are all volunteers and as such don’t receive a wage but as well as running costs TSOG has to cover such as insurance, hangarage and membership at the airfield, the charity is also constantly in need for funds in order to continue to fund the projects that are currently underway. The charity receives no kind of recurring funding to support its activities and as such all of the money raised to keep the charity going is raised from donations, sponsored events and activities, corporate sponsorship as well as grant applications.