Date: 02/06/2008 Category: Childrens Care
A new charity is helping Medway’s young people get the best start in life. The Medway Youth Trust (MYT) gives young people access to a range of essential services including educational and careers guidance, impartial advice and emotional support from personal advisers. The new service replaces the Kent and Medway Connexions service within Medway and is available to teenagers aged 13 to 19, both in school and in the community. Unlike its predecessor, MYT is Medway-specific and provides services that affect the lives of teenagers living and studying in the area. The Charity Commission has also thrown its support behind the trust by giving it charitable status, which means the trust will be able to apply for additional funding from private and charitable sources. The decision to change and rename the service followed changes to the way services are funded and is designed to ensure young people living in Medway have access to the services they want throughout their early years, schools and beyond. Government funding previously paid to the Connexions service will now be paid straight to the council. The trust is being managed by a board of trustees made up of headteachers, parents, young people, members of the community and employers. Medway Council’s Director of Children and Adults Rose Collinson said: “I am delighted that Medway Youth Trust is now fully operational and delivering the Connexions service to our young people - making sure they have the information and advice they want, when they need it so they know about the options available to them. “Medway Youth Trust plays a vital role in supporting young people in Medway to make the most of their learning and skills and employability and have a bright future.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said services and decisions that affected the area’s young people would now be focused solely on Medway. He said: "We want young people living in Medway to have a lot of involvement in how services are developed so that they get the right support as they move into adulthood. "The new trust will ensure the Medway community and voluntary sector will play an important role in the future of our young people.” Mid Kent College Vice-Principal of Curriculum Sue Mcleod, who is also a MYT Trustee, said: “I am delighted to be involved with the Medway Youth Trust. “The service links in well with the college’s work to ensure that Medway’s young people get access to important services and information to ensure they have the best start in life. Trustee and businessman Peter Martin added: “Medway Youth Trust believe in ensuring young people are given every opportunity to succeed. The trust will be doing this by providing information, advice, and guidance to the young people of Medway. “This is going to make a positive difference to young people's lives and future prospects in their adulthood. Medway Youth trust will energise young people to have a greater belief in themselves, raise their aspirations and actively participate in their own learning and personal development. With today's complex choices giving first class careers guidance early on has to be a priority for the young people in Medway.” The Medway Connexions service is available on 01634 845936.