The organisation: Groundwork North East invests in the places and people that need them - prioritising resources to bring about lasting change by building skills and capacity within the local communities. The organisation works with local leaders and listens to local voices; ensuring their work is shaped by those it is designed to benefit and adds value to assets that exist in local areas. Key ambitions are to grow a culture of equity and inclusion; be committed to collaboration, and act as environmental exemplars; championing practical action to combat climate change while measuring and reducing their own environmental impact.
The initiative: Sofia's fund will support Youth Shack - a partnership initiative developed to help services engage with young people after the pandemic where employment support was delivered remotely, or not at all, and many young people lost touch with support available. The initial year-long programme of employability and mental health services, environmental activities and personal development programmes was set up in response to the impact of the pandemic. It was decided to extend it when it was realised that the negative effects of the pandemic are still being felt. Delivery so far in 2022 has seen some positive outcomes with four young people finding work and 12 going on to volunteer roles. Sofia's funding will help to continue and extend the programme to cover 2023. This will include the provision of a Youth and Community Development Worker to lead a series of land and environment sessions for young people as part of a multi-agency response to Covid recovery and improving mental health resilience.
Partners involved in the Youth Shack programme include Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Groundwork NE and Yorkshire, DWP and Beyond Housing.