Young people in the Redcar area have been dancing for joy after a £2000 grant from UK Steel Enterprise meant that a local charity could reinstate its summer activity programme.
Last year the hugely popular month of activities organised by The Link didn’t run because of a lack of funds. So organisers were delighted when UK Steel Enterprise stepped in with money from its Community Support Fund to ensure the 2018 programme, which has also included producing a leaflet on mental health issues, could go ahead.
More than 250 children, aged from just six months to 18 years old, in the Redcar area have enjoyed activities ranging from dance, performing arts, forest walks and beach art fun to a mother and toddler messy play group, a healthy foods group run by a trained chef and activities raising awareness of mental health issues in young people.
Tina Jackson, Chief Executive of The Link said “We were just over the moon when UK Steel Enterprise agreed to rescue this year’s programme, especially as this is the third time we have had help from the Fund. It meant we didn’t have to disappoint everyone for a second year running. We have been able to employ specialist youth workers for the particular sessions and even provide some transport for groups of parents and children to take day trips.
“Some young people can feel quite isolated during the summer holidays and providing outside activities can be very expensive and beyond the reach of a lot of families. These activities are not only fun but being in groups like these boosts young people’s confidence, reduces anxiety and develops valuable relationships.
“The Manga Club we include is a top favourite and this year they have worked on developing a leaflet raising awareness of mental health issues in young people and aiming to reduce the stigma,” she added.
UK Steel Enterprise, the business support subsidiary of Tata Steel, established its Community Support Fund to help projects that improve the lives of people of all ages living in its steel areas. It has now given around £340,000 to community projects in the Northern region.
Since it was founded in 2010 The Link has helped more than 1000 children, young people and their families deal with mental health or emotional difficulties, working closely with social workers, GPs schools and local mental health services.
Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses and community projects from 01642 777 777 and www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk
Photo: (from left) Chloe McClean, Performance Co-ordinator; Peter Taylor of funder UK Steel Enterprise; Ian Swales, Chair of Trustees and Holly Gibson, Secretary of The Link Charitable Trust join dancers enjoying The Link’s activity programme in Redcar.