North West Clubs awarded COVID-19 funding from Youth Endowment Fund

Blackpool FC Community Trust and Preston North End Community and Education Trust have each been awarded a grant from the Youth Endowment Fund to support young people at-risk of being drawn into violent crime through the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the support of a £41,000 grant, Blackpool FC Community Trust will be launching a new online adaption of the Trust’s ‘Tower Above’ crime prevention programme mentoring and education programme, to prevent vulnerable young people being drawn into violent crime. The move online will help the Trust continue its support of vulnerable young people while COVID-19 social distancing measures remain in place.

Jason White, Head of Community Programmes, said:

“Social distancing measures have meant we’ve had to put much of our face-to-face work with young people on-hold and look for alternative ways of supporting them. This funding will help us to strengthen and build our online mentoring and ensure young people can still access our help even if it’s difficult to physically meet.”

Preston North End’s project focuses on ‘Back on Track’, a 12 week initiative at providing weekly physical activity sessions complemented with interactive educational workshops centred around improving young people’s attitudes and behaviours towards criminal activity, lifestyle and careers. The sessions will run over the summer holidays and also into the first term of the new academic year as we help the targeted young people transition back into education.  

Tom Drake, Head of Community said:

“We are delighted that we have been successful in our application to the Youth Endowment Fund. Our new Back on Track programme will help provide some much needed support through both physical activity and educational based workshops for some of the most vulnerable young people in Preston throughout the summer holiday and as they transition back into education. The COVID period has been extremely challenging for young people, we are hoping the Back on Track programme provides some much needed ‘normality’ whilst also educating them on key life skills.”

The Youth Endowment Fund is an independent charitable trust set up by the Home Office. It funds, supports and evaluates projects in England and Wales which work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into violent crime.

Jon Yates, Executive Director at Youth Endowment Fund, said: “It has been too easy to forget vulnerable young people during this crisis. The pandemic has removed much of the critical support that many of them rely upon – from teachers to youth workers. This funding will help us find the best way to reach and support these young people when they most need it.”