Young people in east Hull will be able to access extra support in everything from completing school homework to quitting smoking and preparing for job interviews thanks to a grant of almost £5,000 from the Neil Hudgell Trust.
The Maximum Life Youth Project, known as Maxlife, has been awarded £4,784 to cover the cost of a youth worker for an extra eight hours per week over a 12-month period.
The registered charity works with about 100 young people in the east Hull area every year, ranging from age 10 to 24.
The group meets every Wednesday and Thursday, and the money donated by the Trust will be used to run Café Max, which helps young people aged 14 and over to seek advice on healthy eating, budgeting, CV writing and homework, interview techniques, self-confidence and training.
Specialist advice on smoking cessation, alcohol and drug misuse, and sexual health will also be available if needed.
Project coordinator Amanda Gibbs says Maxlife has gone from strength to strength since it was established in January 2004, and the grant will make a difference to the young people who use the base at Kingston Wesley Methodist Church, in Holderness Road.
She said: “There used to be a lot of young people hanging around at the back of the church and outside, but they weren’t really doing anything.
“The Minister at the time, who was a founding trustee, spoke to some of the church members about setting up a youth club, so it started on a Wednesday and it’s grown.
“We had one youth worker and the rest were volunteers, so we ran holiday clubs and fun days and it developed from there. Now we have three youth workers. With Café Max, we felt the needs of the older group of young people had changed over the years.
“They still wanted to meet their friends, but if they are not in a supportive environment at home, they can feel quite isolated. We are absolutely over the moon to receive this grant. We are quite a small organisation and, to us, this is huge.
“Being able to dedicate these extra eight hours per week will make a big difference.”
Many young people visit Maxlife straight from school or college, completing their homework and having a meal before heading home.
Amanda said: “We also have food parcels. If anyone is living in a hostel, there’s no point giving them lots of ingredients if they only have access to a microwave.
“Instead, we can give them ready meals. We are open to everybody. One of the young people said we have a really safe youth club here and that’s fantastic.
“They know, if they have had a bad day, they can come and have something to eat and get some support.
“If the youth workers identify any other needs, like someone wants to stop smoking, we have relationships with other agencies to get them the support they need.”
A total of £100,000 is available from the Neil Hudgell Trust over a 12-month period and groups can apply for grants of up to £5,000.
Discretionary grants are also available for those whom the panel feel are deserving of support but do not fit the regular application criteria.
Amanda said the Neil Hudgell Trust is making a real difference in the local community.
“It’s brilliant because it’s such a well-known Trust,” she said.
“The grant means such a lot and the young people recognise that too because Neil Hudgell is a name they know. We are so grateful.”
Jo Hudgell, chair of the Trust, said: “The Neil Hudgell Trust is all about giving back to the community and it’s great we have been able to do that with the Maxlife Youth Project.
“Opening their doors to these young people is a fantastic way to offer support and guidance on a weekly basis.
“It’s also a friendly place for them to visit and spend time with their friends, safe in the knowledge the youth workers are on hand if they need them.
“We wish them every success for the future.”