YOUNG people across Northwich and Winsford are set to benefit after an exiting collaboration between local business, the police and the voluntary sector.

When Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a poverty emergency at the end of last year, Cheshire Community Foundation brought together like-minded business leaders and influential local people to discuss how to put struggling communities in both areas at the top of the re-build agenda.

A result of the alliance, funding was secured to support a project which aims to give new opportunities and the hope of a better future to young people who have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and are struggling to move their lives forward.

The 10 week, 'WeDiscover' programme delivered by charity WeMindTheGap will provide a course of one-to-one virtual coaching and group/workshop sessions to up to 25 young people, which will equip them with the skills and confidence to seek employment opportunities for themselves and build their immediate resilience and sense of wellbeing to create a meaningful action plan for their future.

As Rachel Clacher CBE, Co-founder of Moneypenny and Founder & Trustee of WeMindTheGap explained: "We give new opportunities in life and work for young people who deserve better, filling the gaps in their lives with unashamed support, love and care.

"70 per cent of young people graduate from our programmes to paid employment, volunteering or education.

"This means that they move from being ‘prisoners of circumstance’ to ‘pilots of their own lives’."

A £10,000 contribution from the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, has been matched by Storengy UK, the Northwich-based natural gas storage facility on its journey to net-zero through developments in green gases.

A further contribution has been made by one of Cheshire Community Foundation’s private donors.

As Mike Gibson, Managing Director of Storengy UK added: "It’s great to be supporting such a fantastic initiative and I am excited to see the difference being made to the lives of disadvantaged young people in our local area.

"Giving back is important to our business, especially in such uniquely difficult times."

Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation commented: "The absence of hope amongst some young people affected by the current crisis is deeply worrying.

"The WeDiscover programme brings new opportunity into these young people’s lives and homes at a crucial time.

"We are absolutely delighted to have brought together three fantastic funders, all with an interest in helping disadvantaged young people to achieve their full potential, and to be working with an outstanding charity partner in the delivery of this project."