A PROJECT creating a brighter future for young people who are not in school or at work has been hailed as a success.
Over the last three years, the Going Forward Project has helped more than 400 youngsters in Hartlepool.
Through hands on training and one-to-one mentoring, 210 teenagers have progressed into further courses, 44 have gone into paid employment and 24 have gone into voluntary work.
All of the youngsters who took part in the project gained a qualification.
The project has now came to an end, but not before some of its star performers were rewarded for their efforts.
Michael Armstrong, Sophie Cowell, Matthew McCormick and Beth Thompson were all presented special awards.
Michael took on a work placement at Seaton Carew Golf Club as a greenkeeper, but after impressing with his work ethic was offered a full-time job.
Sophie gave her all during the project and is currently working with Barnardo’s, in Hartlepool, as a peer mentor.
Matthew achieved a level one award in personal effectiveness and as part of the project attended a residential course in the Lake District.
And Beth gained an adult literacy qualification and is currently working towards a level three diploma.
The teenagers were presented their awards by councillors Cath Hill and Pam Hargreaves.
Councillor Hill, Hartlepool Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Congratulations to our award winners and to all the young people who have taken part in Going Forward over the past three years.
“Thanks to their hard work and the dedication of the Going Forward team, they have substantially enhanced their experience, qualifications and self-belief and can look forward to a much brighter future.
“We wish them the very best of success on whichever path they choose to follow.”
Councillor Hargreaves, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, added: “Going Forward’s outstanding success makes it one of the best-performing projects of its kind in the North East.
“The project has played a major part in reducing the number of young people in Hartlepool who are not in education, employment and training.
“Our thanks go to all the partner organisations which have made this possible.”
The project was ran in a partnership between Hartlepool Borough Council’s Child and Adult Services Department and Economic Development Section and Connexions.
It was funded by the European Social Fund and the Skills Funding Agency and managed by Tees Valley Works.