October 2020 Newsletter – Project Delivery Updates

Greetings everyone and welcome to our second monthly newsletter. We are thrilled to provide a range of fantastic updates and insights into our delivery for the wider community, families, and young people.

It’s great to be back in our offices and seeing professionals and service users face-to-face after communicating through digital platforms for such a long period of time.

Changes have been made to our workspace ensuring all necessary social distancing and PPE is provided for the team and our young people feel safe. Feedback from the team has been great in terms of this new way of working.

So, without further ado, we hope you enjoy the read and please contact us for any support with families, young people or community groups who would benefit from our service.

COVID-19 Emergency delivery case studies

Sharon – Grove Hill

Sharon has been receiving our emergency food surplus throughout the lockdown and the team have been in regular contact offering the family resources to occupy the young people with a range of activities such as sports equipment and arts and crafts. Sharon has also faced other pressures within the community as her son and family have been targeted with anti-social behaviour. Our team were responsive to provide the family with help and advice working alongside Middlesbrough council’s Neighbourhood Safety Officer.

‘It’s been a very difficult time recently, been through a lot and with all the lockdown restrictions and then getting prepared for the kids going back to school, its been difficult. We can’t thank you enough for your support you given us, with food box’s, helping me with fuel vouchers and you have always been there and been the most supportive service’ ‘We would have been lost without you’.

Claire –  Netherfields

Claire mother of 4 fantastic children has recently been involved with Linx receiving support with food packages, referral to fuel vouchers and regular weekly welfare checks have been provided.

‘Shopping has been really hard, I’m single parent and struggle to get to the shops and take my kids with me. With the social distancing regulations and keeping safe in the shops has been hard with a big family. The food parcels have really helped me. I’m so happy that I’ve met you and really helped me and my family out.’

Amy & Andrea – Hemlington  

Andrea has been a member of Linx as a young person who was involved in our Youth Forum over 14 years ago and had the opportunity to visit London on a residential and visit the Houses of Parliament as part of the 3 day trip.

Andrea is now happily married with 3 children and has recently accessed our service due to the impact of COVID-19.  Andrea has been impacted with work and is now receiving Universal Credit. Andrea’s wife, Amy, popped by the office to ask for support with school uniforms as COVID-19 regulations at their child’s school requires them to have a clean uniform every day. The team responded quickly and contacted Teesside Family Foundation who provided the family with the requested school uniform items.

‘We’re really grateful for your help and how quicky you got the school uniforms’

‘The food parcels helped out a lot and you been there when we need you.’

HEALTH AND SAFETY DISCLAIMER: All food items distributed that require it are stored initially in a fridge located at Linx’s office and are then transported into cooler boxes so they can be delivered safely to young people and families across the town. All staff are certified level 2 in food hygiene and are up to speed with relevant health and safety guidelines!

Coach Core Sports Apprentice

Raheem joined our team last year after working with the Prince’s Trust gaining valuable skills to procced to his next venture at Linx.  18 months later Raheem has successfully passed his Level 2 Community Activator Coaching qualification. Raheem led a strong session incorporating many different learning styles around football skills which he has prepped and rehearsed to pass such a rewarding year for him.

“It was a great feeling passing my Community activator coach level 2 as it helps me with possible coaching ventures in the future.”

Raheem has achieved many successes such as organising and taking lead of two town wide football tournaments with over 70 participants integrating in a positive sporting activity.

“It was a great opportunity to lead the football tournament as it was a chance to show my development from young person to leader in a short time.”

During our open access youth club sessions pre lockdown, Raheem organised sporting activities such as football, football tennis and young people’s favourite dodge ball.

Raheem strengthened his leadership skills by organising a 3 day residential again taking lead to ensure the group of young people were managed safely and reached their full potential in a new environment, encouraging participants to engage in activities provided by Carlton residential centre.

“I enjoyed the residential because it improved the young people helping them face fears and also it helped me personally as my confidence and leadership skills grew.”

Raheem is a modest man who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight but last year was shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year at the BME awards 2019. Raheem was very humbled that he was shortlisted. Strong competition was in the running and that night Raheem didn’t receive an award but was more than happy to be there with his team to enjoy the experience.

“It was an honour to be shortlisted and attend the BME awards as it proved to me that I was making an impact in the community and that people were recognising my achievements.”

Detached/Street Based Update

The National Youth Agency’s guidance and national government guidelines has allowed us to continue to deliver our street work in 6 wards of Middlesbrough.

Our structured, planned activities were delivered in Fairy Dell Park, Ayresome and Laycock Park. Football skills and drills was the name of the game, the young people were put through their paces.

As well as all our fantastic multi-sport activities, young people have been involved in fun quizzes, developing ideas for social action projects and handing the Ageing Better cards. The Rainbow Friends Project, a unique postcard project developed by Ageing Better UK, has been set up to offer messages of support for all walks of life in our area. It’s been great to showcase our young people’s amazing artwork. It is all about helping people of different ages share kindness through a post card with a few kind words. This has been very popular especially during these challenging times.

Throughout each ward we have also asked young people what positives and negatives have arisen as a result of lockdown. Visit our social media platforms to view some interesting insights in how local young people’s mental health has been impacted.

Hemlington: Recreation Centre Mugga
Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 5pm-7pm

Coulby Newham: Fairy Dell/Parkway Centre
Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 5pm-7pm

Netherfields: Estate
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 5pm-7pm

Breckon Hill: Community Centre
Date: Every Wednesday

Time: 6pm-8pm

Newport Gresham: Laycock Park Mugga
Date: Every Thursday
Time: 5pm-7pm

Ayresome: The Briccy Mugga
Date: Every Thursday
Time: 5pm-7pm

Funding New’s & Updates

This has been an amazing month for funding! We secured an array of beneficial pots of money from Children in Need, Climate Action Fund and Tees Valley Support.

The Tees valley Sport inequality fund has provided much needed support for our sporting activities, projects focussing on Middlesbrough’s BAME communities and to continue to work in deprived areas in Middlesbrough.

We are so happy to now have the opportunity to provide young people with a voice on important matters such as climate change. Thanks to the National Lottery, we are involved in a consortium of Middlesbrough-based services who are promoting awareness of climate change and encouraging young people to make a difference.

We have continued to use our emergency COVID funding from County Durham Foundation, Food for Life Soil Association, Tees Community Foundation, Fare Share and Neighbourly to support vulnerable families in need of food in Middlesbrough.

If there are any partner organisations who would like to be involved in our work, please contact us.