TimeBank offers a brighter future to unemployed youngsters in East London

National volunteering charity TimeBank is to extend its support to unemployed young people in East London after receiving funding from the Charterhouse Charitable Trust.  

This will enable the charity to extend its Engage project, which works by recruiting volunteer mentors to encourage young people to take a fresh look at their futures and develop practical skills by delivering community projects.

Engage started as a pilot in April in Tower Hamlets where young people have already delivered exciting projects, from children’s sports activities to a clothes-swap, that have inspired them to return to education or start their own small businesses. The project will now work with young people in both Tower Hamlets and Newham.

Aklima Begum, who is the project co-ordinator for Engage at TimeBank, says: “East London has one of the largest and fastest growing youth populations in Europe – but also extremely high levels of unemployment. It’s vital that we get as many young people as possible into education and employment, and I’m delighted that we are able to extend our Engage project to support them.”

The charity is now looking for young professionals who can spare a few hours to help a new batch of youngsters develop skills and confidence. Aklima says: "Mentors don't need any previous experience – time, patience and commitment are most important. All we ask is that you have an understanding of the issues faced by young people and can commit to spending five hours each month to support a young person over a six month volunteering period."

Potential volunteers – and any young people aged 16-25 who are not in employment, education or training and would like to know more about Engage - should take a look at www.timebank.org.uk/engage or phone Aklima on 0203 111 0729 or 07889219968.