Funding helps at-risk young people

Portishead Youth Centre invests in mentor programme

A £20,000 grant awarded by National Grid from its Community Grant Fund has helped kickstart a project by Portishead Youth Centre to invest in youth services.

The grant will help the centre provide support to at-risk young people aged between 11-19 from the local high school identified as being at risk of exclusion and/or with additional special needs. Young people will be provided guidance from a part-time mentor, paid for with the funding from National Grid.

Additionally, the funding has helped pay for a part-time member of staff to provide support for young families and new mums attending the centre’s soft play.

When the pandemic struck in early 2020, Portishead Youth Centre were able to transfer their mentoring sessions online to continue providing vital youth outreach and engagement.

The mentoring project has opened a number of doors for staff at the centre. It is shaping the centre’s approach to delivering one-to-one services and pre-school work, to ensure that the needs of vulnerable young people and families have the care and support they need to build resilience and become more independent.

The funding was the springboard for our mentoring sessions.

Kimberley Jones, Head of Centre and Youth Provision said: “The funding was the springboard for our mentoring sessions. It helped us make new contacts, establish our initial ways of working and cement the work we’re doing now.”

James Goode, Project Director for National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project, commented: “The work of the Portishead Youth Centre is changing lives every day. The mentoring provided by the staff at the centre is a valuable asset to the local community and will leave a lasting, positive impact on many children, young people and families in the area.”

Since 2018, National Grid has awarded over £680,000 to 44 local projects and groups in communities that are impacted by its construction work on the Hinkley Connection Project through its Community Grant Fund.