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Revamped youth service unveiled

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A revamped Youth Service that will cater for all young people across Middlesbrough is unveiled this week.

The comprehensive approach marks a major step forward for provision in the town and follows a tendering process to find the best providers.

The model has been driven by the town's Deputy Mayor and replaces short-term grant-funded projects with street-based youth work and targeted support.

Contracts have now been awarded to three established leaders in the field to deliver a state-of-the-art Youth Service for young people across the town.

The approach - due to be up and running by April 1 this year - consists of three linked programmes:

Universal provision
For all young people across Middlesbrough aged between 11 and 18 (up to 25 years old with additional needs)

Targeted provision
For young people who need additional support

Targeted transitional provision
For young people who may need additional support at key times in their life, eg moving from primary to secondary school.

Universal provision will be delivered the Linx Youth Project.

Linx Operations Manager Sara Mirsalehi said: "It's great that Middlesbrough Council is reinvesting in delivering a comprehensive youth offer for our young people in Middlesbrough.

"This is a big vote of confidence in Linx, and our ability to deliver a universal youth offer across the town.

"We have been delivering successful ‘open access' youth clubs across seven wards for many years in Middlesbrough and are very excited to continue engaging with young people. 

"Our qualified and passionate youth workers engage and build relationships with young people to get them more involved in their communities as well as in the design and delivery of activities and services we offer."

The Junction were successful in their bid to deliver the targeted provision.

Chief Executive Officer Beth Major said: "We are proud to be part of such an exciting opportunity to develop services for young people in Middlesbrough.

"This will further develop our ability to meet young people's needs, prevent issues from escalating and enable young people to address issues and concerns they may have within their communities.

"We are looking forward to working with partners across Middlesbrough and beyond to help all our young people develop the skills, confidence and opportunity to make successful transitions to adulthood."

The targeted transitional provision will be delivered by Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation.

Helena Bowman, Head of MFC Foundation, said: "We are delighted to be delivering this programme which will make a real difference to the lives of young people across communities.

"Transition - whether from primary to secondary school, secondary school to further education or employment, or transition from school to school - can have a significant impact on young people's lives.

"This programme will provide positive, targeted support to young people at various transitional stages and fits in well with the Foundation's goal of inspiring confidence and hope."

The process has been spearheaded by Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor Antony High who said he was delighted with the outcome.

Cllr High said: "This is an exciting time for Middlesbrough, and for the young people of the town who finally have access to services dedicated to meeting their needs.

"Years of service cuts and austerity have taken a heavy toll on youth provision for the town, so improving this area of delivery has been a priority for me.

"These additions are critically important if we are to give our young people the best possible start in life.

"This new approach has been made possible through money taken out of senior management structures that is now being put to creative and constructive use in support of the young people of Middlesbrough.

"It's a grass roots approach with the focus firmly on young people's well-being, helping them learn new skills and develop healthy relationships, while identifying and tackling any problems at an early stage."