Teenager praises charity for support

Reece Fettis taking part in an initiative on the beach.

Reece Fettis taking part in an initiative on the beach.

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A charity supporting vulnerable young people has been praised by one teenager for the help it gave him.

Reece Fettis, 14, from Byker, was finding life tough and having difficulty in resolving some conflicts with family and his peers.

Reece Fettis.

Reece Fettis.

But thanks to the help of Shiremoor-based LookwideUK – established as a unique development wing by Northumberland Scouts in 2004 – he says his life has been turned around.

Reece has developed friendships and relationships, completed an Arts Award and an Emergency First Aid course, and has secured a volunteering position at Stepney Bank Stables.

He said: “Before I got involved with LookwideUK I felt bored, angry, frustrated and I was lonely, with not many friends.

“Now I’ve got more social and communication skills, and might even look for some part-time work like dog-walking.

“I enjoy working at the stables and I am looking forward to the camping trip we are doing in May half-term with 1,500 other young people at the Wild West Marra event.”

Nicky Sargeant, who heads up LookwideUK, said: “We use a team of qualified and experienced Development Tutors, both paid staff and volunteers, to identify and reach out to young people that are struggling to get on track to a positive future.

“Our range of bespoke personal development programmes help youngsters to overcome some of the barriers that stop them engaging and achieving in school and their communities, equipping them with the skills and confidence they need to progress.”

“LookwideUK is supported in so many different ways to make a difference to so many lives: volunteers, partnership projects with local organisations, funding from local and national funders and donations of both cash and expertise from local businesses.

“We want to build relationships with those that want to support something in their community, as I simply can’t think of a better gift to give to a neighbourhood than to improve the behaviour and future prospects of the young people there.”

Reece’s mum Trudey said: “I couldn’t even let him go to the shops without there being trouble before, but now he knows how to behave and knows there is no reason to fight.

“It has really changed our lives and I feel I can trust him much better now.

“It’s been really good for Reece and just thinking about how many other kids it’s helped. I don’t think you could do anything differently because everything’s spot on.”

LookwideUK reaches out to socially isolated young people across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland that may struggle to mix socially with their peers for a whole range of reasons.

They learn about what they have to offer, discover themselves, grow in self-confidence and find a voice. The charity even provides minibus pick up and drop offs to and from home.

LookwideUK’s ‘Give it a go…’ programme made a difference to 35 vulnerable young people’s lives in the last year, and is just one of a range of interventions that works in partnership with local organisations, heritage attractions, businesses, schools and individuals to help young people.

For more about the charity visit www.lookwide.org.uk or email nicky.sargeant@lookwide.org.uk or call 0191 251 4064.