Stoke & Staffordshire

Youth projects in Staffordshire get £2m lottery grant

Two projects for vulnerable young people in Staffordshire have been given almost £2m by the Big Lottery Fund.

Arch North Staffs has been awarded close to £1m to fund their Youth Support Network (YSN).

This four-year scheme will provide individual support to young people leaving care.

The charity Spurgeons is set to receive £950,000 for its Sisters project which aims to cut re-offending by young women in Stoke-on-Trent.

They hope to train volunteer mentors to work with the women when they leave young offenders institutions (YOIs).

'Huge difference'

Nicky Patterson from Spurgeons said: "Young women in custody seem to be a slightly lower priority compared to young men - there seem to be less programmes specifically to deal with young women and their particular needs."

"These mentors will come in and be part of their sentencing programme to give them an opportunity to build up their self-esteem, confidence and tools, so that they can break away from the cycle of re-offending."

John Taylor, from the Big Lottery Fund, said: "We are proud to be announcing this multi-million pound investment to help fill the gap in support for some of the region's most vulnerable young people, many of whom without effective support, are likely to fail before they've even begun.

"This funding will go a long way to help address this situation and make a huge difference to their lives, to create new positive futures and provide them with the opportunities to succeed."

The funding is part of an England-wide investment of £30m by the Big Lottery's Youth in Focus initiative.

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