The Factory Youth Zone is a charity run state-of-the-art youth centre which provides a unique safe place where anyone aged 8-21 (up to 25 for those with additional needs) can discover somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to talk to. Since opening in February 2012 over 4,000 young people have joined with membership costing just £5 per year and 50p a visit.
Facilities include a full-size sports hall with 8m high climbing wall, 3G outdoor sports pitch, dance studio, music and media suites, theatre, arts room, boxing gym, fully equipped fitness suite, sensory room, recreational area and café.
The ward in which The Factory is located ranks 2nd worst in England for the effect of long term deprivation on children. Many young people in the surrounding area are vulnerable to poor educational attainment, future worklessness and to developing antisocial or offending behaviour.
In the local area:
Unemployment is 16.2% (national rate 7.5%)
48% of families live below the poverty line
11% of 16-18 year olds are not in employment, education or training
With a lack of social provision in the area, The Factory aims to provide young people with opportunities to make constructive use of their leisure time, raise their aspirations and choose a positive, independent lifestyle. This is primarily achieved through structured evening sessions as well as targeted provisions such as:
Mentoring: a programme which provides weekly one-to-one support for children aged 13+.
Employability: support into work through a tailored 6 – 8 week programme.
Young Leaders: a volunteer training programme for 14-18 year olds.
Challenge to Change: personal development programme for young offenders or those at risk of offending.
The Factory believes that all children should be able to access the same opportunities, regardless of what disabilities they face. 14% of our members have additional needs; consequently our skilled staff work hard to remove obstacles to participation and ensure that all the activities on offer at The Factory can be taken up by all members alike.
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