Liverpool Lighthouse is a charity based in Anfield, set up to help reach those at risk of social exclusion. The charity runs a number of projects for beneficiaries in the local area including its Youth Connect Project which engages young people by offering fun weekend and evening activities, helping to avoid antisocial behaviour.
The Youth Connect Project provides young people with the chance to learn a number of different activities including street dancing, learning to DJ, singing and graffiti art. The project combines these activities with IT, literacy and numeracy skills helping to engage young people in education and assist in their personal development.
The Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales awarded a grant of £25,000 over one year to Liverpool Lighthouse allowing them to cover running costs, such as venue hire, staff and facilitator costs. Matthew Moreton, the Harmonize Youth Connect Manager at Liverpool Lighthouse, commented, “These young people can be hard to reach, but by providing activities they want to take part in and by supporting them we have been able to get them involved in training that gives them accreditations and workshops that teach them about the consequences of becoming involved in crime.”
Moreton, who runs the Youth Connect Project, continues, “The statistics talk for themselves and reveal the crucial role the project is playing in stopping young people in Liverpool from becoming involved in criminal activity. At the height of the project car crime went down 50%, and the crime rate in general reduced.”
The project provides exciting and life changing activities to young people in the area allowing them to keep off the streets, express their emotions and learn valuable skills. 17 year old Jim was living alone, using drugs and alcohol and was actively involved in crime. Since attending the Youth Connect Project he has given up on drugs and crime and got involved in music, formed a band with new friends and moved back home with his dad – “Youth Connect keeps me off the streets and gives me something to do”.