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Project information

Blackburn in Action

'Blackburn in Action' is a volunteering and social action project for young people in Blackburn with Darwen. It will provide opportunities for young people and the wider community to participate in community projects which promote cohesion, health and wellbeing and skills and aspirations.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Blackburn Youth Zone

Blackburn Youth Zone logo
  • Need


    Young people in Blackburn with Darwen are vulnerable for a range of reasons including poverty, substance misuse, physical or mental illness, or because of problems at home. This often results in behavioural problems, social isolation and low self esteem and in turn leads to poor educational attainment. There is very little preventative early help around positive mental health and as a result, young people can find themselves with no help at all at a time when they really need it.


    'Blackburn in Action' will create opportunities for young people to volunteer in the local community on a range of projects such as litter picking and gardening.

    The project will also create opportunities for the wider community to volunteer at Blackburn Youth Zone and on community action projects.

    Volunteering time for worthwhile causes has been shown to increase mental wellbeing, support physical health and develop skills such as confidence and employability.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    50 young people will achieve personal objectives, gaining increased self-esteem and confidence


    » 50 young people will participate in social action projects which will increase self-esteem and confidence

    What success will look like

    Personal objectives will be measured for each young person at the beginning, mid-point and end of the project to enable progress to be shown in each objective

    Aim 2

    50 young people will improve social skills and wider social networks as a result of volunteering


    » 50 young people will volunteer in the community which will improve their social skills and networks

    What success will look like

    This will be measured for each young person at the beginning, mid-point and end of the project to enable progress to be shown in each area

    Aim 3

    20 young people will be developed as young leaders, facilitating further social action


    » 20 young people will participate in further activities to develop leadership skills which will enable them to develop future social action projects

    What success will look like

    Numbers of young people participating in young leaders projects will be measured and future projects led by young leaders will be recorded and monitored.

    Aim 4

    50 volunteers will be recruited from the wider community to support social action activity


    » A range of promotional activities will recruit volunteers from the wider community to support social action projects.

    What success will look like

    We will monitor the number of volunteers recruited and hours volunteered by people from the wider community. We will also demonstrate the value they create through volunteering.

  • Impact


    The 'Blackburn in Action' project will increase the following in young people:

    - skills including confidence, self-belief and emotional resilience
    - aspirations and long-term goals relating particularly to education/training and employment
    - health and wellbeing - supporting development of healthy attitudes
    - cohesion, promoting tolerance and integration with peers and the community


    Risk of lack of young people's engagement with the project - we have a clear recruitment strategy for mentees ensuring they are aware of what is involved in the programme. It is important that young people feel we are focused on their personal developmment and youth workers are there for them on a voluntary basis - we are not ‘yet another’ agency involved with the family. The Volunteering Coordinator gets to know each young person so their progress can be guided and supported.


    We will communicate to donors via our website and other social media and a quarterly newsletter detailing progress of the project overall as well as providing case studies of young people and young leaders as well as obtaining stakeholder feedback on the programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £16,000 Volunteer Graduate Full time Volunteer Graduate role
      £17,564 Issue Based Youth Worker Full time Youth Issue based worker
      £4,800 Training budget Training for young leaders and volunteers
      £1,636 Equipment Equipment for social action and issue based projects
  • Background


    Blackburn with Darwen has one of the highest proportions of young people in the country but is also one of the most deprived boroughs in England. This level of deprivation brings with it poor levels of health, poor educational attainment, drug and alcohol misuse, offending and family breakdown. The borough was rated in a recent ONS report as having one of the lowest levels of personal wellbeing, with a significant section of the population being socially isolated, and at risk of loneliness.


    Young people aged 8 to 19 (or 25 with a disability) will be able to access the 'Blackburn in Action' project via Blackburn Youth Zone. We have a growing membership of more than 3,200 local young people, so this project will be advertised to them directly as well as to other young people in the community via schools and partner organisations.

    In addition, adult volunteers will be able to register to volunteer on the project via the Youth Zone's volunteering processes.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Youth Zone has good knowledge of the borough's young people and issues affecting them with an already established membership of over 3,200 young people. We have a successful volunteer training programme in place and a track record of engaging young people in projects and developing young leaders.

    We already engage young people who make almost 1,000 visits to the Youth Zone every week in activities that support cohesion, health and wellbeing and skills and aspirations.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rose Morgan

    Rose is our Volunteer and Mentoring Coordinator who is responsible for delivering volunteering and mentoring programmes

    Rohan Awan

    Rohan is our Volunteer and Mentoring Graduate who is responsible for supporting delivery of volunteering and mentoring programmes

    Ben Evans

    Ben Evans is our Issues Based Youth Worker, who works with young people around specific topics such as young leaders and social action.


will support a young person on their mentoring journey across a year to reach their goals.

I was working a 15-year-old girl who was on the verge of being excluded from school and refused to engage with any agencies. The Youth Zone’s mentoring pilot has had a real positive impact on how she deals with situations, and she now has great attendance at school. More young people need this!

Emma Painter, Family Intervention Key Worker, Blackburn with Darwen Council