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. The pandemic, education disrupted, exams cancelled, lost jobs, careers put on hold, lack of support, poor mental health have all led to a detrimental impact on their futures.

Our country will be built by the next generation, so it’s crucial that we nurture the talent of young people as we rebuild from the pandemic.Young people living in Blackburn with Darwen are being offered support through a new youth hub partnership. The Step Up project launched in November is working to raise aspirations and employment options for young people improving their chance of a positive future, beyond COVID-19.

Blackburn Youth Zone in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the Department for Work & Pensions is to support young people into successful sustained employment. The Step Up project isn’t just about assisting the future economy but gives an opportunity and hope to hundreds of disadvantaged young people across the Borough, offering them a brighter future and opportunities to kick start their career. 

The Youth Hub will be delivered by a range of experienced partners, who will nurture, empower and support young people who potentially face multiple barriers to employment, education and learning and whose talents often go undiscovered.  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 already started supporting young people by offering them the opportunity of a skilled ‘Youth Employability Work Coach’. The coaches support young people between 13-24 years old to increase their confidence, improve resilience, build employability skills, and gain useful job related qualifications. They will also have exclusive access to employment opportunities through a network of business partners.

A young person receiving support from the Youth Hub said, 

“I have been unemployed for a while, I just needed some extra support to get a job. My work coach helped me to realise my potential, learn new skills, be more confident at interviews and stay positive. The support I received was just what I needed”

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

“At Blackburn Youth Zone we are all about helping young people to realise their potential. Leading the Step Up partnership means we can offer facilities for outreach sessions with employment coaches who specialise in working with this age group, as well as our expertise in engaging young people. 

“We hope that young jobseekers who don’t feel comfortable engaging with the Job Centre will come along to sessions we host, both in person and online. Disadvantaged young people are now getting the opportunity to thrive and receive support so they can ‘Step Up’ to the future and not get left behind.”

For more information about the partnership, please e-mail



We are Blackburn Youth Zone, a state of the art youth club facility located at the heart of Blackburn. Blackburn Youth Zone is a 21st century youth hub for young people aged 5 to 25 years old, aiming to irrevocably change the prospects offered to young people in the area.

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