Brent youths given �700k boost from the Big Lottery Fund

Project funded by six-figure cash injection

More than �700,000 which was given to the borough to help improve the lives of struggling youngsters has already started being put to good use.

The funding, which amounted to �726,997 is courtesy of the Big Lottery Youth in Focus scheme and will form the ‘Fixed 4 Your Future’ (F4F) project, managed by Prospects Services, on behalf of Brent Council and Brent Connextions.

Andrew Wilkinson, operations manager for Prospect Services, said the project would be key to ensuring young people are able to integrate in the community.

He said: “We want to be able to give people the resilience they need succeed in the community environment.”

Since the donation was made, in November last year, more than 30 youths in the borough have joined the programme which has seen life coaches hired to offer advice and guidance and also launched ‘Apprentice’ style challenges.

In addition, the College of North West London have come on board with the programme offering workshops to teach essential aspects of everyday life such as cooking hot meals.

Most Read

Cllr Mary Arnold, lead member for children and families, praised the scheme but added that it was important to recognise the challenges faced.

She said: “In Brent the percentage of young people aged 16-18 who receive the offer of a place in education, employment or training is the fourth highest in the country (97.4).

“But the most vulnerable, such as care leavers and youth offenders have a greater challenge.”

The scheme aims to work with more than 200 youths across three years; other partners include Brent Care Planning, Youth Offending Service, Genesis Community Foundation, First Rung and BANG Edutainment.

Cllr Arnold added: “Young people are our priority In Brent and we are optimistic that Fixed for the Future will secure a fairer chance by supporting individuals not only through employability training but sustained by mentoring and life coaching once in employment.”