A new charity called Jersey Support Youth has been set up to help the Jersey Youth Service provide more opportunities and improve the lives of young people in the Island.
All money raised by the charity will be used locally to support work with young people, either by funding staff needs or to purchase resources to develop new areas.
The charity has already identified two priority projects, My Time 4 Young Carers' and 'LGBTQ Youth Jersey' as there is currently very limited support for these young people.' JSY aims to raise £60,000 to provide help, support, advice and somewhere to meet for carers under 18 and £40,000 to develop a LGBTQ Youth Project similar to those found in the UK.
The charity will work in hand in hand with the Youth Service who will identify specific projects where assistance is required, which the charity will raise funds for.
JSY wants to provide support for young people involved with drugs or alcohol issues or with child sexual exploitation, as well as youngsters who lack confidence and self-esteem, or are battling mental health problems, who are homeless, unemployed, or who are caught up in the criminal justice system.
The chair of the new charity is entrepreneur Jonathan Ruff, who owns the Tamba attractions and has already established a charity called ‘Ruff’s Kitchen’ a food programme for vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. He said: "Jersey already has an excellent Youth Service but there are areas that need extra funding that cannot be provided by the States. Through this new charity, I want to develop even more services to support our young people. Having set up a charity for children in Zimbabwe it is my honour to be involved in a charity that will help the young people of Jersey, I feel it’s our duty as Islanders to help our young people in need, so if we can we should, as they are the future of Jersey.
“We have already started working with the Youth Service team and have some projects in mind and some fundraising ideas planned for 2017. All the money we raise will be exclusively for local young people in the island and that’s what makes this such an important and worthwhile charity.”
The Education Minister Deputy Rod Bryans said: “This is a partnership that has enormous potential to deliver new initiatives for our young people. Our Youth Service team is ambitious but limited by their budget so this provides a creative and positive new way forward. Bringing in the wider community and harnessing their business skills is exactly the kind of approach we need.”
Principal Youth Officer Mark Capern said: “This is a very exciting time for the service and being able to secure additional funds means we can improve our youth work and add to it, widening the number of ways we can support young people, especially those who are vulnerable. It is great to be working with Jonathan and his team who bring a fresh, dynamic approach.”
The charity will soon be setting up fundraising events. It is also looking for corporate and private sponsors who would like to help improve the lives of vulnerable young people.
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