“It’s great to see this money going to local youth projects,” said our source at Morton Solutions, “That’s really where it is needed. The Trust has been doing great things so far in the Bank Plain building, and this will help them to go a lot further.”
The funding will pay for 100 young people - of which 50 will be people currently not in education, employment, or training - to develop communication skills by completing accredited leadership training, which they will then use as volunteers to help others. It will also allow 500 disadvantaged young people who have learning difficulties and disabilities to gain skills in creative industries, to help reduce community isolation and build self-esteem.
As many as 3,000 vulnerable youngsters will be involved in educational, recreational and social activities which will improve their personal health and 1,000 vulnerable children and youth at risk of exclusion from school will have access to training which will lead to a qualification and improve their employability skills.
The Open Youth Trust was founded in 2004 and has continually expanded into the Bank Plain building, which has undergone a £12m refurbishment and now has facilities including a dance studio, climbing wall, media lab, recording studio and a ‘drop-in’ space for under-18s on afternoons and Saturdays.
“There’s already so much work gone into the building,” said our source at Morton Solutions, “And it has established itself as a real hub for disadvantaged youths, were they can improve their lives and get training and help.”
The work is funded by the range of events held at Open, such as conferences for up to 500 people, celebration and awards nights, live music events - such as the sold-out Newton Faulkner gig on Saturday night - and closed secure storage. Profits from all these events are reinvested into developing the activities for young people at Open.