Northumberland youth project receives financial boost

Monday, 26th June 2017

A programme aimed at engaging young people living in Northumberland has been launched thanks to a community grant by Karbon Homes.

We have donated £10,000 from our community iFund towards the development of a residential and social action participation programme aimed at engaging young people aged 8-18 in Northumberland.

The #free2beme participation and activity programme, which is run by Northumberland charity Leading Link, will target young people living in Lynemouth and Hadston during the school holidays and on Saturdays.

Some of the young people referred to the programme are those identified with emotional health problems, often responsible for committing anti-social behaviour. The areas that have been identified are also the communities where we own and manage 395 properties.

The #free2beme project has been developed by young people from the Children in Care Council, Northumberland Young Advisors and Youth Justice Centre who identified emotional health needs as the biggest concern to young people in Northumberland.

By working in partnership with The Northumberland Adolescent Services and Participation Team, Leading link will provide a comprehensive holiday and Saturday programme to improve young people’s social and development needs as well as managing one-to-one mentoring.

One-to-one mentors will work with the young people and their parents, building trust and helping them to achieve their aspirations. The activity programme will include social and interpersonal skills, relationship with money, independent living and social action projects.

Lyn Horton, Manager from Leading Link, said: “One of the biggest problems surrounding emotional health is the lack of self-belief people have to achieve their goals. We have many case studies on how active community action has helped to grow aspirations and attainment which will impact on later life chances and deflect from often chaotic lifestyles.

“We truly believe that creating aspirations for young people is a big protective factor for positive mental health. This funding will enable us to move into the more rural areas which will enhance what we have already achieved and take it to a different level’.

Melanie Rees, Community Involvement Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “The #free2beme programme will be delivered right in the heart of the communities of Lynemouth and Hadston. The project will engage and provide young people with real experiences of life and help them build resilience and confidence to feel ownership of their own communities.

“This is a very powerful initiative and one we are very proud to support. By engaging with young people and giving them a sense of pride and ownership, it will keep them active and help us to reduce potential problems within our communities.

Young people living in the Lynemouth, Hadston and the surrounding areas can enrol onto the programme. To enrol, please contact Leading Link on 01670 820 088.