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News: Thousands Of Young People Receive One-Stop Advice

Wednesday, 17th March 2004
(PR 1181)

A one-stop help and advice centre for young people has proved a big hit just four months after opening.

Thousands of young people from Skelmersdale have been making the most of the advice available at the Info Shop and staff have dealt with 8000 enquiries since last November.

The centre, which is staffed by professionals from Lancashire County Council's Youth and Community Service and Lancashire Connexions Service, provides information on health, benefits, housing, money, relationships, drugs, leisure, form filling, jobs, travel and holds regular surgeries for young people needing in-depth information and advice.

Young parents with children are catered for as the centre includes a play area and there is also a computer suite which is available to visitors.

The centre, which is at Unit 73 of The Concourse, is open from Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5pm.

Minister for Skills and Vocational Education, Ivan Lewis MP, will officially opened the centre and chatted to the young people who use it.

Susan Gossage, aged 16, is from Skelmersdale and is a member of Lancashire Youth Council, said:

"The centre is great because everyone knows where it is and it's accessible for young people because it's such a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

"I know lots of young people who have received really good advice from the staff."

Leader of Lancashire County Council, CC Hazel Harding, said:

"The centre in Skelmersdale is an excellent example of the County Council working in partnership with an outside agency to achieve impressive results.

"Young people need a facility like this where they know they can pop in and access information on a wealth of subjects.

"The staff have worked extremely hard to make it a big success and to have dealt with 8000 enquiries in such a short space of time is wonderful."

Acting Chief Executive of Connexions Lancashire Limited, Charlie Hooper, said:

"Partnership working is the cornerstone of our commitment to give every young person in Lancashire the best possible start in life.

"The overwhelming success of the Skelmersdale Info Shop is a shining example of that partnership in action."

Notes for editors:

The centre has been set-up by the Skelmersdale Information for Young People Association in partnership with Connexions Lancashire, the County Council's Youth and Community Service and the Single Regeneration Budget.

Connexions supports all young people aged 13 to 19 in their transition into adulthood and work, providing them with guidance, advice and support to help them make important decisions about their life, education and career choices.

Skelmersdale Information for Young People Association was created in 1996 to work towards providing an information and advice shop as well as a support service for young people in the area.

An information shop opened in 1998 and proved such a success a bigger venue was needed.

For further information please contact: Jane Bullock on 01772 533521