A very positive year for service

Youth workers who cover Ponteland are aiming to build on a successful 2014.

The West Northumberland Youth Service provision at the centre next to the high school includes lunchtime and junior clubs, activities for young people on Monday evenings and a weekly session where attendees can get information, advice and guidance.

In addition, it supports the indoor football programme on Friday evenings and arranges trips and special activities for after school and school holiday periods.

A total of 350 teenagers are accessing these services, which is almost double the number for the previous 12 months.

It was also a good year for the west area service as a whole and this was reflected at the Youth Focus North East awards as it received the accolade for youth work team of the year.

The annual youth service information was recently presented at a Ponteland Town Council meeting by Ashley Brown, senior area youth worker for west Northumberland.

His report says: ‘The youth fund we set up is continuing to support young people in Ponteland.

‘In recent months, it has helped students to stage a celebration ball at the local high school, another to attend a residential basketball camp with coaches from around the world and contributed to one young person being able to compete in high class swimming competitions.

‘Some of the young people here have recently made great use of the Keyfund scheme. For example, the Tizmiz group were awarded £241 to improve the media centre in the Youth Centre as part of their stage one work and stage two for Wazza Girlz included trips to the zoo and dungeon attractions in Edinburgh.

‘In collaboration with Changemakers, we helped facilitate a group of young people to assess a local medical practice. This enabled them to discuss accessing GP services from their perspective.

‘Our most successful summer programme yet saw a range of young people take part in golf, archery, trampolining, indoor climbing and go-karting activities, enjoy a visit to a cinema and go on trips to Wet n’ Wild and Lightwater Valley.’

During the meeting, he added: “An important factor in our achievements is the excellent partnership working with the high school, police and other organisations.”

The town council has included the sum of £5,500 in its 2015/16 budget to help the service with the costs of its activities and sessions in Ponteland.