Level Two Youth project to extend work thanks to Government and lottery cash

Level Two youth project in Felixstowe is to receive a �174,000 funding boost - Shez Hopkins and Wen

Level Two youth project in Felixstowe is to receive a �174,000 funding boost - Shez Hopkins and Wendy O'Connor with some of the youngsters. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A Suffolk youth project has been awarded nearly £175,000 in funding towards new work with young people and to enhance some of its current services.

Level Two at Felixstowe has been granted the money from the National Lottery-backed Youth Investment Fund over three years, allowing leaders to invest and plan for the future.

Project manager Shez Hopkins said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant and are excited about what it will enable us to offer young people.

“We are now in our 16th year, and over the last four years our project has developed from being a small youth club into a comprehensive youth service.

“Research shows a close link between poverty and poor health and wellbeing. In parts of Felixstowe one in four children are living in income poverty.

“Promoting healthy lifestyles and self-care is a key priority in Suffolk County Council plans for Children and Young People. Our own young people with whom we currently work have identified mental health and wellbeing as particular areas of concern and interest.

“We are delighted that the Youth Investment Fund will enable us to enhance and expand our work in these areas. ”

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Level Two – its youth hub is based above Tesco in Felixstowe town centre – works with young people aged seven to 25, providing a range of services including supporting young people at risk of exclusion from school, young unemployed, and teenagers in need of support through well-being mentoring. Its youth workers meet with young people out and about the town and villages, and weekly school-based drop-in sessions are held at Felixstowe Academy and being expanded to the seven local junior schools. It holds after-school and holiday activities, promotes health and wellbeing, social and practical activities.

It will use the £174,490 grant for additional staffing at its open access sessions to ensure that a youth worker is available for any young person needing one-to-one support within the session, and also to develop mobile/outreach provision including the Trimley Villages and Kirton.

It will also enable the project to increase its age range to allow early intervention work with children from age seven and create a new service working closely with the primary schools with a regular drop-in surgeries, one to one and small group support. There will also be some weekend sessions on art, drama and music.

In 2016, 784 individual young people accessed the Level Two Youth Project services with total contacts of 7,493. Already during 2017 it has been involved with 636 different individuals and total contacts of 5,643.

For further information contact Shez on 01394-272521 or visit the project website

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Youth Investment Fund is a welcome boost for the many great community organisations that work with young people locally.

“Money raised by National Lottery players creates opportunities for young people to build on their talents and strengths and the Youth Investment Fund is an important part of the jigsaw for the youth sector.”

Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch said: “This investment from the government and National Lottery players will have a transformational effect on the lives of some of our most disadvantaged young people.”

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