National Lottery boost for young people on project backed by Streetlife and Blackpool FC Community Trust

The funding means work can be extended into new areas
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A project to support jobless young people in Blackpool has been awarded £400,000 of Lottery funding to extend its work in some of the town's poorest areas.

The project has already helped 278 young people, aged between 18 and 25, living in Claremont to either find a job or access training or education. The neighbourhood was targeted after research found there were more than 400 unemployed young people concentrated in just 10 streets between Westminster Road and Dickson Road.

The funding will help young people in BlackpoolThe funding will help young people in Blackpool
The funding will help young people in Blackpool
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The extra funding now means the scheme can be extended to three other inner Blackpool wards – Bloomfield, Talbot and Brunswick - as well as continuing the work in Claremont.

Funding was awarded to national charity The Rank Foundation whose partnership in Blackpool includes Freestyle Urban Soccer, Empowerment, Streetlife, Blackpool Football Club Community Trust, Groundwork, and Blackpool Coastal Housing.

Support includes providing access to health and fitness services, referrals into college, help to find better accommodation, mental health support and suicide prevention.

The partnership aims to understand what stops young people finding jobs, education or training by asking them what solutions they would like to see, with workers going out on the streets to talk with young people in their neighbourhood.

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Most said unemployment was not a ‘lifestyle choice’ but barriers included issues such as anxiety, unsuitable housing and a lack of basic skills such as English and maths.

One young person said the team had helped them find a flat and become more physically fit through boxing. They added: "The walk and talk sessions have allowed me to talk openly about many issues, which has helped to reduce my stress, worry and anxiety. With their support, I’m looking at returning to education or finding a job.”

Dame Julia Cleverdon, chair of the Pride of Place - Claremont Steering Group Board, said: "The Claremont team, sponsored by Rank Foundation who have led the collaborative work with partners to support young 18 to 24 year old unemployed people in this ward, are so delighted that our lessons learnt can now be shared and implemented across three more wards in Blackpool. We are turning the tide in this coastal community."

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