The Berkshire Youth Hub has received funding from Englefield Charitable Trust to support the mental health and wellbeing of Berkshire’s young people.
With schools having to close during the lockdown from March, there were concerns that some young people in Berkshire would fall through the gaps without vital support. The West Berkshire Youth Hub was launched in mid-May to provide a safe virtual space.
The Youth Hub is an online, telephone and text-based support service providing information about local activities, volunteering opportunities and support systems for young people and their parents to access.
CEO of Berkshire Youth, David Seward, said: “Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, some young people have been excluded and are at risk of becoming lost to the system. After-school activities give some of these children security and a safe haven to attend in their free time. With the closure of these groups, we need to find ways to encourage young people to still get together safely, to get good advice and support and to have fun.”
The Hub, which now has over 240 new users each week, is growing in popularity as the months away from school continue. The money raised for the organisation by Greenham Trust, including the grant from the Englefield Charitable Trust, has gone towards enhancing the online resources and employing key youth workers who can help to support those who need it.
Chris Boulton, CEO of Greenham Trust, said: “At a time when young people are experiencing unprecedented upheaval, anxiety and loss, many youth workers have been furloughed, whilst traditional youth projects are unable to continue within social distancing guidelines.
“Our support for Berkshire Youth will not only provide funds towards running the Youth Hub, we are also pleased to be providing access to a wider network of funders and other key contacts across the local area, in order to reach as many young people as possible.”
Berkshire Youth now has big plans to expand its provision for Berkshire’s young people, with an online performance of ‘Unlocked and Unbolted’ in September, at the Corn Exchange in Newbury, which will feature the collected thoughts and feelings of young people on how the pandemic has directly affected them.
International rugby coach, Phil Davy, will also be lending his insight for an online leadership programme that will be offered to Berkshire’s teenagers. Those who complete the course will be able to access volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities with companies who are a part of Newbury’s Economic Development Company.
Catherine Haig, Chair of the Englefield Charitable Trust, said: “We look to support all members of the community and were delighted to help fund this initiative. The help that Berkshire Youth provides is essential to providing stability for those who may be struggling in these difficult times.”
You can find out more about the Englefield Charitable Trust here.