“We are here to help for the long term” – that’s the message from a Hartlepool-based charity which is working in partnership with local organisations to make further moves to support young people in the town.
The PFC Trust – which prides itself on providing a boost to those who need it the most – is ready to step up efforts in a number of areas after launching two new projects.
Together with Hartlepool Borough Council, Hartlepool Healthy Communities Network and in partnership with the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust it has appointed a social prescribing link worker.
The link worker, Amelia Turner, will be based within Hartlepool Borough Council’s Youth Service and will work across the community receiving referrals from sports clubs and community centres, schools, and other statutory services.
Carl Jorgeson, the CEO of Hartlepool Sport, said: “We have all had an incredibly challenging 18 months or so through the pandemic and our town's young people are no exception.
“We are therefore pleased to have hired a specialist link worker who can work alongside young people on a one-to-one basis and help to build their confidence, support them to engage in the wider community and ultimately, to do well and be well.
“The link worker will be a key point of contact for sports clubs, community centres and schools who are best placed to identify young people who could do with some support.
“We recognise that not all young people attend clubs or community activities, so they will be able to contact the link worker themselves for some support or guidance. They will have someone to talk to and to take the first steps into community activities.”
Sarah McCluskey, Area Youth Worker at Hartlepool Borough Council, added: “We’re delighted to be working with the PFC Trust and other partners to support this initiative and we are really looking forward to welcoming the link worker to our team.
“The aim of this role will be to build the confidence of those aged 11 to 18 and to help them discover and overcome barriers through a combination of one-to-one support, small group activities, peer mentoring and, when appropriate, by engaging in community activities.”
At the same time, the PFC Trust will also be supporting Hartlepool Sport and Let’s Connect in promoting a Wellbeing in Sports Clubs initiative that will work closely with the new link worker.
There will be a natural overlap with the Wellbeing in Sports Clubs programme because the link worker will liaise regularly with those involved.
Chair of Hartlepool Sport Kelly Daley said: “There are over 100 sports clubs in Hartlepool. Many of these sport clubs, dance schools and other providers have been at the forefront of supporting people throughout the challenges of the pandemic.
“This long-term project seeks to build on the fact that clubs are rooted in and trusted by their communities and that they can have an even greater impact with the right kind of support and training.
“A series of conversations with club leaders, players and parents will inform and shape the level of support that each club receives.
“Over time, some sports clubs will become ‘Community Based Transformation Centres’ and many more will be able to nominate ‘community or club navigators’ who will receive additional training and support to ensure sustainability.”
The PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport have launched the programmes with the central premise being that there should never be a wrong point of access when someone is asking for or needs help or support.
For more information email Amelia Turner at email@example.com