More young people to be helped by Youthscape

The Youthscape Project supports and helps disaffected young people from all backgrounds and faiths in Luton.

It is now extending its horizons, thanks to the Connolly Foundation, with a new grant enabling Youthscape to extend its work beyond Luton, across Central Bedfordshire.

One of the key projects is ‘Compass’, helping young people who are struggling to engage at school because of their behaviour or other pressures.

Over the course of a term, they have the chance to visit Youthscape’s centre, Bute Mills, each week for an intensive programme that helps them deal with the fears, anxieties and feelings. The aim is to help re-engage them with school and education. A second project tackles social isolation in young people. Despite the growing use of social media, young people are actually more isolated than ever before.

Openhouse brings small groups together to learn to cook with the help of a professional chef. This builds both self-confidence and new connections. Then they focus their new-found skills on a social action initiative to serve dinner for a vulnerable group from the community.

Chris Curtis, chief executive of Youthscape, said: “The Connolly Foundation are funding our ongoing work with disadvantaged young people.

“The grant enables the charity to extend their work beyond Luton across Central Bedfordshire.

“The support from The Connolly Foundation is also helping found training sessions for teachers and youth workers across Bedfordshire. More than 200 are expected to attend programmes in the first year alone – training them in responding the young people’s mental health issues, anxiety and even the growing problem of sexting.”

Youthscape was established in 1993 and Chris Curtis, the Chief Executive, was the founding member of staff. The organisation now has 27 paid staff and more than 80 volunteers.

And in 2016 a former flour mill, in the centre of the town, was converted into an amazing modern space for young people