Twenty unemployed young people from Teesside have spent a busy two weeks transforming an award-winning Centre that gives adults with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy being creative and independent.
The young people, aged between 16 and 24 from Middlesbrough or Redcar, are on a 12-week Prince’s Trust Enterprise Team programme run by Stockton & Riverside College. Backed by a £2,500 grant from UK Steel Enterprise’s Community Support Fund, the team has given the Creative Thinking Resource Centre in Redcar a fresh look.
Centre Support Manager Tony Morrell said “The Centre has been buzzing with activity and the team worked really hard. We have wanted to do this decorating since we moved in here two years ago but finding the money is difficult. The team has freshened up the building including a colourful, welcoming hallway, a beach-themed mural and a ramp to help with access.
“Around 50 adults with a range of learning disabilities use the Centre every week and enjoy the chance to socialise and discover new interests from drawing, painting and craftwork to animation and media. Everyone here is extremely grateful to all the young people, The Prince’s Trust and UK Steel Enterprise for this wonderful help.”
UK Steel Enterprise, the business-support subsidiary of Tata Steel, has now backed Prince’s Trust projects on Teesside with more than £42,000 in total, helping hundreds of young people into work or apprenticeships as well as supporting the community projects that make up part of their programme. The unemployed young people gain valuable skills and experience to help them into employment and three out of four do go on to work, further education or training.
Prince’s Trust Project Leader Craig Murphy said: “This is the first time we have brought teams together from Middlesbrough and Redcar so the Centre had to brace itself for a bit of a take-over! I was very proud of all the young people as they did a great job.”
Sarah Thorpe of UK Steel Enterprise said “Our aim is to support growing businesses with investments of up to £1m and with office and workshop space at our two Innovation Centres but we also have a special Community Support Fund to back projects that improve the quality of life for people living in our steel areas.
“We are keen supporters of the Prince’s Trust Team Programmes on Teesside. They not only help young people into work but also give projects that benefit Teessiders of all ages a boost. The young people have to present their project to us in order to win the funding and we are invariably impressed with the way they rise to that challenge,” she added.
Photo: Prince’s Trust Teams from Middlesbrough and Redcar prepare to get busy transforming the Creative Thinking Resource Centre, helped by Sarah Thorpe (centre) of funder UK Steel Enterprise.