Our Young People team have been successfully delivering the Y:Youth programme in the Lancaster area since 2015 and recently secured £232,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund) to continue delivery for a further 3 year period. Y:Youth is a person centred youth focused project designed to prevent children and young people (CYP) aged 8-19 from deprived communities across Lancaster in getting involved in anti-social/criminal behaviour with the overall aim of improving their life chances. Our new Y:Youth team will deliver a wide range/type of sessions in a variety of different setting including boxing to teach anger management and emotional wellbeing strategies, arts based sessions to facilitate issue based discussions, teamwork and leadership exercises to develop social skills and conflict resolution, community social action to engage CYP in constructive roles/activities that contribute to people and spaces.
Having worked with over 300 young people already our Y:Youth sessions have been adapted and modified into a unique combination of group and 1-1 approaches to meet the needs of each CYP we work with and are designed to impact on their lives in a number of different ways, including:
Encouraging positive behavioural change
Improving communication skills
Teaching CYP reflective practises
Developing emotional/anger management
Following consultation with partners, PSCO’s, parents and CYP the programme has been extended into a further two areas (six in total) to cover: The Ridge, Ryelands and the Vale, Heysham, Mellishaw Park Traveller Local Authority site for Gypsies and Travellers, Poulton Park and Bowerham.
Lauren Blane, Manager of Young People based at YMCA Lancaster said: “This National Lottery funding is fantastic news and will assist us to help make a difference to the young people in Lancaster. Many young people in Lancaster find it difficult to access such services due to several social and economic barriers. Y:Youth activities will be open access and will operate out of local parks and community venues, assisting young people to adopt improved lifestyle choices, have fun and make friends along the way.” Lauren is in the process of recruiting the new Y:Youth staff team and an open day to relaunch Y:Youth will take place on 11 April at YMCA Lancaster.