In 1981, the closure of Consett’s steel works and coal mines caused widespread unemployment and negatively impacted the futures of young people in the area. Despite the arrival of new employers over the years, the situation has remained largely unchanged, with few job opportunities and limited access to youth provisions in rural villages.
To address this ongoing problem, a group of local residents, church leaders, and councillors came together to establish a project with a mission to help young people in Consett, regardless of race, political opinion, or gender, become confident and mature individuals who can improve their opportunities and look forward to a better future.
Learn more: Derwentside Detached Youth Project
With a lack of youth provisions in many surrounding rural villages and the closure of church and village halls, it can be difficult for young people to find safe and comfortable spaces to socialise. The project aims to bridge this gap and provide support to young people in their journey to becoming successful members of society.
All members of the Consett community are invited to join in this mission and help create a brighter future for the next generation.
The project focuses on detached work to reach and engage young people who may be facing challenges or feel marginalised. The goal is to provide new opportunities and experiences to help them grow and develop into confident and mature members of society.
Through their programs, they aim to raise aspirations and self-esteem, offering leisure activities and informal educational workshops. The team is led by young people themselves, addressing issues that are relevant to them, such as drug and alcohol awareness, healthy eating, sexual health, bullying, and LGBT+ awareness.
Outdoor activities play an important role in our project, improving physical and emotional well-being, offering new challenges and helping young people to learn new skills, think outside the box and reach their own personal goals. The detached youth work approach is one-of-a-kind in the area and they take pride in the fact that they are now working with third-generations of families.
The project offers a safe and warm environment for young people to socialise, something that has become increasingly rare in the surrounding rural villages where youth provision and community spaces have diminished. They believe that every young person deserves the chance to thrive and we are dedicated to helping them do so.
It’s worth mentioning the tireless efforts of the charity and its supporters in ensuring that young people in Consett have access to resources and opportunities that will help them lead a confident, healthy and fulfilling life. Despite facing numerous challenges such as lack of funding, staff shortages, and the pandemic, the charity has managed to overcome these difficulties and continue providing its services to the community.
The Roots & Wings cafe, LGBTQ+ drop-in, art therapy group, Burnhope Community Centre drop-in, and Medomsley Methodist Church Hall drop-in are just a few of the initiatives that the charity has established to reach out to young people in need. These programs have proven to be extremely successful, helping young people improve their emotional and physical wellbeing, build confidence, and discover new talents.
The charity has received much-needed support from various organisations and trust funds, including The National Lottery, The Ballinger Trust, The Rothley Trust, Sir James Knott, local AAP, and County Durham Foundation. These organisations have helped the charity maintain its operations and continue to make a positive impact on the community.
Despite the constant struggle for funding that small charities like this one face, the team remains dedicated to their mission and will continue to offer new programs to address the needs of local young people. The wellbeing of young people has always been and will always remain the primary concern for this charity.
It is important to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the charity and its supporters in making a difference in the lives of young people in Consett. Their efforts are truly commendable, and they deserve recognition and support from the community.