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Local Youth Hub supports over 900 young people moving into employment.  

In a year of uncertainty, keeping life on track has proved difficult for many of us. But, for young people who already have to deal with the odds stacked against them it has proved even more difficult.  

Over the last six months a project funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports facilitated by Blackburn Youth and delivered by 8 partners has supported local young people with opportunities and access to vital support to move into employment. 

With one of the highest rates of infection in the country and a further extended period of local restrictions, young people within Blackburn with Darwen have suffered devastating damage to their mental health and emotional well-being. 

In addition to this it is highly documented that The Department of Working Pensions have stated that over an extra 1000 young people within Blackburn with Darwen are now claiming universal credits compared to prior to the Coronavirus Crisis.

The project has been delivered by 8 experienced partners from across the borough who have nurtured, empowered and supported young people who face multiple barriers to employment, education and learning.  The partners supporting the project include Newground, One Voice Blackburn, Child Action Northwest, The Making Rooms, IMO Charity, Youth Action and BwD Young People’s Service. 

The Youth Hub has given young people an opportunity to benefit from the support of skilled Youth Employability Work Coaches to improve their chance of a positive future, beyond COVID-19.  

Aziz, young person who benefited from the Youth Hub,

I never believed a career in engineering would be possible. Life has been pretty tough and it’s really hard to look to the future. But the Youth Hub has given me the confidence to believe in myself. I’ve been working with my coach who has helped me understand the steps I need to take to chase my dreams. Thank you to everyone at the Youth Hub. 

Zaffer Khan, Interim Chief Executive of Blackburn Youth Zone, said,

Blackburn Youth Zone are extremely proud to have led The Step Up project, working with our partners who provided opportunity and hope to hundreds of disadvantaged young people across the borough. It’s great to see we have engaged over 900 young people, creating brighter futures, complete with prospects and opportunities to kick start their future career.”

The project has now ended, supporting over 900 young people between the ages of 13-24. Resulting in 212 of those young people confirming transition into further education training or employment. This is a pure testament to all partners within the project who have raised aspirations, whilst tackling loneliness and isolation; during a time when young people needed support most. 

Stephen Jones Chief Executive Officer at IMO:

I have to congratulate Blackburn Youth Zone, for having the foresight to engage local partners such IMO  Charity, Youth Action, One Voice Blackburn, Young People’s Services, Making Rooms and Child Action NorthWest to help deliver Blackburn Youth Zone “StepUp” project 

Covid 19 has had a huge impact on  vulnerable young people, impacting on their education and social lives. 

And yet within the midst of  a Pandemic I had the pleasure of witnessing the huge contribution local partners have had in making the   “StepUp” project  a huge success, helping young people learn new skills and an  increased confidence to try new things and to choose the right pathways to secure their future careers.