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The long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on children and young people are still to be fully understood, but a North Tyneside community partnership is to working support 13 – 24 year olds recover with weekly ‘teen relax’ sessions.

St Paul’s Community Partnership (SPCP), based in Willington Quay, has developed a year-long programme of weekly ‘teen relax’ youth sessions to support young people to ‘recover, relax and move forward’ from the past 12+ months of the Covid pandemic’. The 30+ participants, including those already known to the charity and new attendees, will have the time and space to socialise, catch up on school work during the sessions as well as take part in a number of activities including CV and application writing for part-time jobs and further education.

Some children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing has been substantially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic so SPCP is also offering informal support for attendees struggling with their mental health and anxiety as part of the ‘teen relax’ sessions which can include referrals to which can include referrals to YMCA's Mentoring Project and CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Community Mental Health Service) for further support.

Angela Abrahams, Operational Support Worker at SPCP commented: “The ‘teen relax’ sessions are underway and going really well. We’re continuing to run sessions during the summer holidays and there is great excitement about their residential to an outdoor activity centre in a few weeks’ time. The support from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund has helped us to fund these vital sessions for our teens and young people.

The ‘teen relax’ sessions have been supported by a grant from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and one other community fund. The Port of Tyne Community Action Fund was created in 2007 to support community projects in North and South Tyneside with three key aims: to help communities thrive; improve health and wellbeing; and supporting children and young people to thrive.

Laura Stuart Parks, Head of People at Port of Tyne commented: “The impact of the Covid pandemic has been huge on children and young people, at an age when there are already so many pressures, and it is important that we support them to thrive as we come out of the other side. We are delighted to have been able to support through the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund and we look forward to hearing how the group get on throughout the year!”

Since being established the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has awarded £500,000 to over 165 community projects along the River Tyne corridor.

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