NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER – PROJECT DELIVERY UPDATES

Hello and welcome to another one of Linx’s monthly newsletters!

This month’s newsletter is informing you all on our changes to delivery with Covid-19 restrictions easing and to share with you our successes over the month.

Eizad Qafouri

Firstly, we would like to say a big welcome to our newest team member Eizad Qafouri, he joined Linx as our Peer Researcher. Eizad is from Great Ayton and is currently attending 6th form college studying A- levels in biology, chemistry, and economics, alongside his new role at Linx. He said “I’ve always been keen on making a difference in my community but never knew how to go about it. However, with this opportunity, I have a chance to make a change with helping young people, and in our area. I’m exceptionally excited for the peer researcher role and very excited to be a part of the team!”

Fundraising Walk

As many of you will know, Linx Youth Project is a voluntary sector not for profit organisation that relies on funding to allow us to be able to continue to provide the services we do across Middlesbrough, from open access youth clubs to one-to-one support.

We currently receive funding from our local authority Middlesbrough Council, and other sources such as BBC Children in Need and The Climate Action Fund, however these are only for short periods of time therefore not sustainable long term, meaning we must look at different ways of raising money so when the opportunity came to take part in TFM’S Cash for Kids Community Challenge we were so excited to get involved.

Cash For Kids set us the challenge of raising money for our youth organisation and offered to match fund anything that we raised up to the amount of £1500! So with this in mind, we arranged for a sponsored walk to take place, walking to all of our youth club destinations across the town!

We were joined by staff, volunteers and of course our amazing young people who each raised money and on Sunday 14th November met with us at our starting point in Hemlington for the walk. From there we went on to Coulby Newham, to Whinney Banks, to Grove Hill, to Breckon Hill and finished up at Newport. Ricky, one of our Senior Youth Workers even did the walk in fancy dress!

We are pleased to confirm that together with everyone’s help we raised a grand total of £774 and Cash for Kids North East will be awarding us with an additional match funding grant of £774 making the total amount up to £1548!

Fire safety

Over the last few weeks, Staff have been made aware of local young people causing ASB by starting fires and setting off fireworks. Ahead of bonfire night our staff team took it upon themselves to run sessions around fire safety and the effects of fireworks within our 6 youth clubs to advise, inform and educate young people about the dangers.
As fun as firework and starting fires might be for young people, they are incredibly dangerous. They can result in life-changing injuries or even death.
Fires and fireworks can cause serious bodily injuries, including blindness, if the eye tissue gets damaged or torn. Other common injuries from fireworks include burns to the hands and face, which can leave painful scars. Someone could even lose one or more fingers if fireworks go off in the wrong direction.
We hope this advice prevents young people from using fireworks and starting fires within their local communities.

Partnership work

This month has seen great partnership work with other local organisations. Young people from Newport helped support youth focus NE in organising an awards night to celebrate the great achievements within the Newport ward.
Young people engaged in a football activity with the local police to build relationships, this was so fun and successful that both young people and the police decided to do it again
The staff at Hemlington met with the fire service to organise a partnership, where they joined with the Linx team on detached to advise young people and educate them on fire safety.
Great partnership work with Cathryn from the voice project NE supported our young people to create comics, which share their experiences of life during the pandemic. With support from an experienced comic creator Lily, the young people will produce drawings to illustrate their message.

BME awards

The LINX team attended the 2021 Tees valley BME achievements awards ceremony, an evening to recognise and celebrate the success of BME business people, communities and partnership organisations working within Middlesbrough.
LINX staff and our organisation were shortlisted for four different categories at this year’s Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards 2021. Our nominations were as follows:
• Youth Organisation
• Apprenticeship Organisation
• Sara Mirsalehi- Woman of the Year
• Gael Bengono Oyono Apprenticeship Individual

We were so humbled by all the wonderful things that the other attendees had to say about Linx and are so pleased that it’s recognised how much we strive to make a difference to young people’s lives locally.

We were lucky enough to leave the ceremony having won in two categories: Youth Organisation and Woman of the Year (for our wonderful Operations Manager Sara Mirsalehi). It was a wonderful evening, spent with exceptional local people representing the best in BME achievements across our area.

Tree Planting

Our Climate Action Middlesbrough lead, Eilis, assisted Tees Valley Wildlife Trust with The Other Perspective volunteers and Actes to plant trees for National Tree Week in Coulby Newham.
The rain didn’t put a dampener on anybody’s spirits after all of the hard work of planting over 80 trees! This will make a massive difference to the area for years to come.
We’re always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join us on projects like this, and would love to hear from you if you have some spare time available and the motivation to make a difference to you area.

Visit from the MP

We had a flying visit from the local MP, Simon Clarke, who got to meet the team here at Linx to discuss the youth provision we offer and he got a taste for the passion our team have!

He said: “It was great to visit the team at Linx Youth Project in Hemlington to find out about what they’re doing to support young people in our region. Linx runs open access youth clubs Monday – Friday across different wards in Middlesbrough (Monday in Hemlington, Tuesday in Coulby Newham) for young people aged 10-19 (and up to 25 with Special Educational Needs). Linx provides a place for young people to socialise, meet with their friends and make new friends while taking part in a huge range of activities – everything from FIFA competitions on the PS4 and XBox to karaoke, playing music or games of pool. And having met the youth work staff I am convinced of their commitment to the well-being of young people in Hemlington and Middlesbrough. I want to thank the team for a wonderful warm welcome and I wish them continued success in the great work that they do.”

Christmas Time

Last year Linx took part in a Christmas jumper campaign where the aim was not only to encourage recycling of clothing, but to also promote inclusivity as for some families, buying a Christmas Jumper can be an impossible expense at this time of year.
The response from schools were amazing and we are happy to have helped those in need without creating a carbon footprint!
We are going to be doing this again this year and hopefully help out 5 schools in the Middlesbrough area.
We will be providing Christmas parties across all of our delivery areas for young people to enjoy the festive period before we break up for Christmas.

Finally

To our valued young people, families, communities, and business partners, at this time, we would be interested in any feedback or comments that you would have in relation to our service delivery during lockdown and for future delivery.
Please stay safe and if there is anything we can support with then don’t hesitate to contact our team who would be happy to help.

Linx staff are working very hard in-line with the current roadmap & easing of the restriction out of lockdown, so watch the space as we are reintroducing our popular youth provisions in the coming weeks.
Twitter: @Linx_Youth
Facebook: @LinxHemlington
Website: www.linxyouthproject.co.uk