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New vision laid out for youth services

A major overhaul will see a completely new approach to the delivery of youth services across Middlesbrough.

Subject to approval by the Executive, Middlesbrough Council will now develop a fully commissioned service model to turn the tide on nearly a decade of cuts and closures.

The shake-up will be funded in part through £400,000 of savings achieved by a streamlining of the Council's senior management structures.

The new proposals will reinvigorate the town's youth provision, replacing the current range of short-term grant-funded projects with street-based youth work and targeted support.

A commissioning process will be launched shortly with an emphasis on delivering high quality youth engagement alongside tangible community benefits.

The new approach - expected to be up and running in early 2021 - will aim to support young people through key transition points via youth work and positive activities.

Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor Antony High said: "Youth services are more vital than they've ever been if we're to give our young people the best possible start in life.

"We've had some great projects in recent years which have made a real difference for young people and their communities they live in.

"However they've lost focus and become fragmented, and the impact of austerity and the cuts of the last ten years have also taken a heavy toll.

"It's particularly pleasing that money that we've been able to take out of senior management structures can now be put to creative and constructive use in support of the town's youth.

"This will be a grass roots approach to fostering young people's well-being, providing them with safe spaces in which to learn new skills and develop healthy relationships, as well as helping to identify and prevent potential problems."

A report on the delivery of youth services across Middlesbrough will be considered at a meeting of the Council's Executive on Tuesday, July 14.

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