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A group of unemployed young people on Teesside, making determined efforts to get on the jobs ladder, have spent time helping to create a youth club in a deprived area of Middlesbrough.

The group of seven, from Redcar, signed up for a 12-week Prince’s Trust Team Programme to develop the skills they need for employment. Their planned community project, part of the programme, won £2000 from UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, to help them buy the paint, materials and equipment needed to transform rooms at the Sutton Centre.

The Centre, owned by Sutton Housing, will provide a youth club with a range of social activities and rooms equipped to help teenagers with job searches and applications. The Prince’s Trust team has decorated rooms and worked in the garden.

John Burns, Senior Youth Worker with Hemlington Detached Youth Work Project Ltd (Linx), said: “The Prince’s Trust team has worked so hard and, with UK Steel Enterprise’s generous backing, has done a great job re-furbishing space so we can run a much-needed youth club.

“We have been able to expand our work into deprived areas such as Saltersgill and provide a team of youth workers thanks to the Youth Investment Fund run by the government and the Big Lottery Fund. The whole project has been a real team effort as we are working with the Clarion Housing Association too and we really appreciate everyone’s support.”

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme, for 16 to 25 year olds, also includes a residential trip, work experience, and help with preparing for interviews and writing CVs. It develops skills ranging from communication and presentation to budgeting, time management and teamwork.

Craig Murphy from the Prince’s Trust Team at Stockton Riverside College said: “The young people have to make a proper presentation to UK Steel Enterprise to win their funding and it teaches them a lot. UKSE is a long-standing supporter and we are very grateful for their time as well as for the funding.

“Three out of four young people helped by the Trust go on into employment, education or training so we would encourage any young person who is struggling with lack of confidence or job skills to talk to us.”

Sarah Thorpe, UK Steel Enterprise’s Area Manager, said: “We have now supported more than 25 Prince’s Trust Team Programmes from our special Community Support Fund. The funding provides a double benefit as it not only supports young people into work but also helps them make a real and satisfying difference to their communities.”

Contact The Prince’s Trust team at Stockton Riverside College on 01642 865 548 and www.stockton.ac.uk

PICTURE CAPTION: (from left) Peter Moore, one of the young people on the Team Programme; Craig Murphy, Prince’s Trust Team; Sarah Thorpe, Area Manager, UK Steel Enterprise, John Burns, Senior Youth Worker, Hemlington Linx and Kate Lawlor, Team Programme member.