Blyth teenagers given help with Life Skills

A group of teenagers in Blyth are being offered an opportunity to develop personal life skills through a joint project between Northumberland County Council and the British Army.

As part of the Newsham Community Matters project, the Army’s Headquarters 4th Infantry
Brigade Youth Engagement Team from Catterick Garrison has developed a LifeSKILLS programme aimed at promoting Practical Leadership and Team-building (PLT), personal development and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) project.

It is hoped that the project will help support personal development by engaging  young people in hands-on, outside the classroom activities such as teambuilding projects and sports and reduce antisocial behaviour in the area. The group will meet every Tuesday at the Army Reserve Centre on Cowpen Road in Blyth.

Sgt Major Mark Hill MBE, Youth Engagement Officer,  said: “A LifeSKILLS - PLT experience seeks to empower young people through hands-on, outside the classroom activities, combining learning-by-doing, adventure, challenge and fun.

“This project sets the stage for young people to explore their possibilities as team players, leaders, problem solvers and responsible citizens within their community. It can help improve things like trust, maturity and attitude and brings learning to life.

“The young people we have been working with are really enjoying the sessions and we would encourage any other teenagers to come and join us.”

The Newsham Community Matters project was developed by the council, with the help of a £26,000 grant from NE Procurement, to offer courses and activities which can help improve the lives of people in the area.

These will focus on three themes, IT Matters, such as help with job applications and benefit claims; Practical Matters, such as First Aid, tenancy advice and confidence building, and Family Matters, such as cooking on a budget and healthy lifestyle advice. Courses are held weekly at the Church of Yahweh, St Bede’s Church Hall and The Pavilion in Newsham

A Community Interest Company is in the process of being set up so residents can take the project forward.

Philip Soderquest, Head of Housing at Northumberland County Council said: “Following feedback we have worked with residents in the area to develop something which we hope will help to enrich their lives.

“The joint project with the Army is key to helping young people, who have often become disengaged  to particpate in positive and rewarding activities to help them achieve their maximum potential.

“It’s great to see this group getting so much out of the activities. Hopefully they will be able to use the skills they are learning to give them a brighter future.”

For more information on any of the activities being offered call 07552260613 or like the Newsham Community Matters page on Facebook.
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