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Author: ICL Boulby

The East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust (ECYHT) has just celebrated eighteen years of providing training opportunities and affordable homes for young people in the area.

Based in Skinningrove it aims to tackle some of the training and housing problems affecting young people aged 16-25. By offering a diverse range of opportunities and experience it seeks to meet the recognised needs confronting this age group in the area.

By acquiring properties in a very poor state of repair the trainees renovate the buildings that are then rented out to young people in housing need.

The latest project is a three-storey building on Brotton High Street. Having stood empty for the best part of ten years it is being gutted and totally refurbished. This is providing apprenticeships and training opportunities for a number of youngsters. Once renovated the current wreck will provide a two-bed maisonette along with a single bed ground floor flat with patio garden, thereby helping to increase the affordable, supported housing stock available locally.

Andy Pettersen is social business manager for the ECYHT: “We provide them with tutored, on the job labour training in construction,” he said. “We also aim to provide them with support for life and social skills making them more employable and a contributing member of the local community,” he added.

This project is being under-pinned by a grant from ICL Boulby whose External Affairs Communications Manager is Katie Robinson: “As one of the biggest employers in this area we are proud to be able to help projects like this,” she said. “We stand behind any organisation that seeks to tackle the deep seated economic and social problems faced by the area,” she added.

This level of support, training and community engagement has many positive effects on the trainees said Mr Pettersen: "It helps them integrate into society and sets them on the right path. Without groups like ours and projects like this, local young people would be in danger of being left behind".

(Left) Katie Robinson of ICL Boulby; Dean Sayer, Site Supervisor: Andy Pettersen ECYHT.