Auckland Youth and Community Centre sits at the heart of the Woodhouse Close Estate in Bishop Auckland. Originally built to house families following slum clearances in the pit villages of County Durham in the 1950s, the estate is characterised by poverty, youth unemployment and poor health.
It is situated in an area ranked within the top 1% of the most deprived communities in the country.
The centre, which is run by local people, provides a vital resource. Originally established as one of a wider network of boys’ clubs in 1964, the building now contains a sports hall, IT suite, meeting rooms and a community café and is focused on countering the negative influences on young people and supporting them to fulfil their potential.
Given the local deprivation, many of the young people who attend the centre come from difficult family backgrounds with low aspirations. Many of them have poor records of educational attainment and are unable to access the support networks or activities they desperately need.
Bill Niblo, the Centre’s Chairman, identified a shortage of youth workers across the county and applied for funding to help ‘grow his own’.
The Foundation awarded Auckland Youth and Community Centre a grant of £34,815 to provide training for young people, to take on two young people as apprentices in childcare and business administration and to provide targeted help to support young people find employment.