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A new youth engagement project has been launched in Pershore funded by Wychavon and Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

The two year project will be delivered by Pershore High School and Pershore Riverside Centre and will focus on enabling vulnerable young people to build important skills, self-esteem and confidence. It will also provide them with an understanding about how to make appropriate choices as respected members of the Pershore community.

Targeted one-to-one youth coaching and mentoring will be offered, along with follow up activities including various workshops and health and wellbeing sessions and behavioural support.

Sessions will address a range of topics affecting young people including mental health support, exploitation and anti-social behaviour (ASB), some of which have been raised with the PCC by Pershore communities. The impact of ASB on communities will be discussed with young people and they will be supported to challenge their own behaviour. The project will also celebrate the achievements of young people and positive outcomes.

The PCC has committed £10,000 to the project in the first year, while Wychavon has invested £20,000 in the scheme for two years.

PCC John Campion said: “I understand a more targeted approach needs to be taken when supporting young people to allow them to make more informed decisions so they can be valued members of the community.

“I am determined my investment, in partnership with Wychavon District Council, will make a significant change to the behaviour of young people and ensure they are directed towards more positive activities.

“I am confident Pershore High School and the Pershore Riverside Centre will work collaboratively to ensure the project delivers positive and lasting outcomes that will benefit young people and the wider community.”

Cllr Rob Adams, Executive Board Member for Stronger Communities, Culture and Sport on Wychavon District Council, said: “I’m delighted we, alongside the PCC and other partners, are able to offer this extra support to our vulnerable young people.

“By building their confidence and self-esteem and identifying and finding solutions to any underlying issues they may be facing, we can help them to realise their full potential and to play a positive and active part in their community.”

Manager of Pershore Riverside Centre, Bradley Edmunds, said: “The funding for the Youth Engagement Project is vital to ensure we are identifying young people at an important time to ensure intervention is provided and offering them support and guidance.

“This work will take place within school and during outreach work, which will ensure young people are targeted within the community and they will be educated on how they can become pinnacle members of the community to ensure they are respected by others, instead of being associated with anti-social behaviour.”

Fiona Lovecy, Designated Safeguarding Lead for Pershore High School, said: “The PCC has supported a joint project to fund a Youth Mentor, who will be working with young people and members of the outreach programme within the Pershore community.

“We are excited to be part of this project which aims to educate young people on a range of topics including exploitation, as well as working with parents and school staff. We hope it will make a real difference to our vulnerable young people.”