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New-look youth service launches

Published on 27 July 2017

Youth First, a social enterprise which is owned by its employees and the young people it serves, officially launched on 18 July 2017.

Youth First took over running youth services in the borough in September 2016. Its mission is to provide safe and practical activities that educate and empower young people and to help them have fun, socialise and gain life skills and self-confidence to lead happy and fulfilled adult lives.

Nearly 200 guests were at the event, held in the borough’s award-winning TNG youth centre. There were speeches from Youth First’s Chair of Trustees, Sir Ian Mills; Chief Executive Officer, Mervyn Kaye; and from its youth board directors, Dolly Nightingale and James O’Keeffe.

The audience were given a taste of the talent of Lewisham’s youngsters with a selection of dance, music and spoken word. The latter composed especially for the event.

Sir Ian Mills, Chair of Trustees, said: 'Youth First has been tasked with one of the most important challenges in society today – to build the future adult population of Lewisham. Our responsibilities are to improve the self-confidence and the life skills of almost 35,000 young people in the borough. We are very determined and have set ambitious targets. We have a clear vision of the kind of organisation and services we want to be providing by 2021.'

Mervyn Kaye, Youth First’s CEO, said: 'We believe that all young people have so much potential and with our support, we can empower them to build a future for themselves and Lewisham which we can all be proud of. At Youth First, we believe the best way to do this is based on an approach of giving staff and young people a major voice in how we are run.'

Find out more about Youth First and their activities and services.

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