Merseyside youth charity secures over £4 million to deliver mental health and employment support

A youth charity has secured over £4 million in funding to help it deliver mental health support and employment guidance.

Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) said the funds come at a vital time, with the cost-of-living crisis hitting young people hard, as they pay double on essentials like rent and bills, compared to the over-50s.

An effective way to tackle the issue is by supporting them to find good quality jobs, said the charity.

The finances, from Youth Futures Foundation and the European Social Fund/Youth Employment Initiative, administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, will fund the delivery of the charity’s job support programme.

More than 1,600 long-term unemployed 18-24-year-olds based in Liverpool City Region will benefit from a range of services, including specialised mental health support and employment guidance.

Harriet McCann (pictured), interim director of engagement at the Youth Futures Foundation said: “The cost-of-living crisis is hitting young people hard and an effective way to overcome this is by supporting them into employment.

“Young people tell us they want joined-up, consistent support that helps them gain control of their lives, land a good job and fully contribute to society.

“We will use evidence from MYA to inform youth employment policy at a national and local level.”

MYA chief executive Gill Bainbridge said: “This funding will make a huge difference to the lives of some of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalised young people, and support them to develop the resilience, skills and motivation to overcome barriers and achieve.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region said: “It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a massive impact on young people’s prospects, with many struggling to make ends meet as jobs and apprenticeships are taken away, and opportunities lost.

“Too many are still being denied the chance to fulfil their potential, not because they lack talent, but because they lack opportunity.”

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