YOUNG people in Northumberland will be helped to gain valuable life skills in a new £100,000 programme.
Social landlord Isos Housing is investing the cash in partnership with charity Keyfund to help nearly 1,000 youngsters across the region.
The programme, which seeks to develop young people’s skills, aspirations and independence, will run wherever Isos has homes, but there will be particular focus on six key areas, including Lynemouth and Stobhill.
Participants, aged 11 to 25, will gain skills to enable them to lead successful independent lives and engage with their local communities.
There are four stages to the programme and a number of challenges to complete, requiring planning, commitment and inspiration.
All projects undertaken by the young people must be based on their own dreams and ideas as they are encouraged to ‘think, plan, do and review’.
Challenges taken on by past Keyfund ‘graduates’ have included setting up a t-shirt business, doing an underwater litter pick, sending hundreds of football boots to Africa, making a sculpture, recording an album and kayaking around the British Isles.
The new alliance with Isos will see the charity housed free of charge at the housing association’s offices in North Tyneside.
Isos Chief Executive Keith Loraine said: “This is a hugely exciting initiative for Isos and we are really looking forward to seeing young people develop through the Keyfund programme and deliver projects in the communities we serve.
“We are a social landlord and that means doing more than just build and maintain properties — we want to deliver real change on the ground and help all our residents, young and old, to lead successful lives.
“We see massive potential in working alongside Keyfund. Our two organisations have a lot in common already in our commitment to young people, our values and our geographical reach.”
Keyfund has more than 20 years’ experience in helping young people to fulfil their potential and currently works with around 3,500 youngsters a year.
Chief Executive Hannah Underwood said: “We are delighted to build this strategic alliance with Isos so we can benefit more young people living in Isos communities.
“It is a tremendous endorsement for Keyfund that Isos fully believes in our work and the positive impact we have on the lives of young people. The team at Keyfund are so excited about the partnership and hope that being housed within Isos offices will spark off even more wonderful ideas.”