THE lives of almost 150 disadvantaged young people across Halton are set to be transformed, thanks to Children in Need.

The Youth Federation charity has received £62,815 to fund an intensive one-to-one mentoring and confidence building programme to support youngsters over the next three years.

There are currently 6,650 children living in poverty in Halton.

These young people experience health inequalities, reduced educational achievements, the increased possibility of experiencing mental health disorders and a higher risk of offending.

Jess Achilleos, a Youth Federation operational manager, said the programme will change the lives of young people.

She said: “The Youth Federation has been running the NGage programme since 2008 and it has an excellent success rate. "Our team of youth workers will now actively engage with Halton’s most vulnerable young people to help create tailored programmes that meet individual needs and which will ensure they access the right support to help them improve the quality of their lives.”

The scheme will encouarge young people aged over 16, not in full-time education or employment, to fulfil their potential.

Each young person will have a weekly two-hour session to help tackle barriers preventing them from studying or finding a job.

Jess added: “Our youth workers will identify the individual needs of each young person and help them access the right support from a range of agencies.

"We will help them engage in new opportunities and experiences through small group activities and education visits which will help them build social skills, confidence and self-esteem.

"Crucially, our team will also build relationships with the young person’s family or guardian to help tackle the inherent issues which prevent vulnerable young people from increasing aspiration and reaching their potential.”

Young people will be referred to the NGage programme from a range of agencies such as Halton's youth offending service, schools, social services and the police.

The Youth Federation already runs several programmes in Halton.