Blackburn Youth Zone ‘Get Stuck In’ summer success

3 September 2020

Despite challenging times Blackburn Youth Zone have had a successful summer running the ‘Get Stuck In’ Programme funded by the Department of Education and brought to us by Spring North Blackburn.

Blackburn Youth Zone implemented robust procedures to ensure they were able to safely open our doors for young people over the summer. The programme which has seen Blackburn Youth Zone support over 650 young people across three sites; Blackburn Youth Zone, Mill Hill Community Centre and Meeting Places Darwen, in the community and through a digital programme also provided healthy warm meals to everyone who took part.

One Blackburn Youth Zone member said

“I found lockdown boring, I had nothing to do and it felt like the same day over and over. Every day I woke up it just felt the same and it would get me really down and I found it really hard. Coming to the Youth Zone ‘Get Stuck In’ at Darwen, Meeting Places really cheered me up. I have learnt new skills like internet safety, DJing and animation. My favourite thing has been making my own pizza for the very first time.”

With restrictions in place reducing the amount of young people who could access the onsite delivery the youth zone went above and beyond to ensure no young person missed out. This included daily deliveries of activity packs and meals, as well as 14 hours of digital activity a week. Over the 4 weeks the youth zone delivered a whopping 3120 activity packs and provided 10,496 meals.

Over the summer Blackburn Youth Zone worked with partner organisations One Voice, Meeting Places Darwen, The Making Rooms, Sams Crafts Soundtracks and We Are Noise music charity to provide enriching opportunities for young people including games, competitions and activities both onsite and digitally such as digital design, music production and arts & crafts. Alongside this 9 vocational accreditations were also on offer for young people to complete such as First Aid training, NICAS climbing award and the highly sought after young leaders award.

Martin, Cofounder of We Are Noise said

“The working partnership has been fantastic, we expected the young people to enjoy the workshops but the feedback has been brilliant. They have all expressed a desire to continue with the musical activities and shown a keen interest in music technology, production, singing and performance.

We have seen the benefit from the engagement with increased confidence in a relatively short space of time.”

Leon, Head of Operations Blackburn Youth Zone said

“The reality of Covid-19 for many of our families has been challenging. The Holiday Activity Fund project for a lot of young people and their families has proven crucial in providing young people a positive experience after a long journey of turmoil.

Young people have been able to engage in positive activity, receive wholesome meals and  the opportunity to connect with their friends, something which hasn’t been there since March. We have seen young people’s mental health starting to take a positive turn, improved confidence and the real feeling that when young people are in attendance, they are for the first time in months, simply being “young people”. Completely free of the real world”

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