Meet Jon Niblo, CEO of North East Youth
Medomsley businessman Jon Niblo started his career playing professional football for Halifax Town and now ensures other young people get the same chance to achieve their potential, no matter what their background.
He’s CEO of NE Youth, a charity which specialises in support for young people to become more involved in their communities, improve their employability skills and well-being.
Jon Niblo said: “I’ve been involved in youth work for about 25 years, since I was a teenager, so I know how powerful it can be as a force for change.”
He has Degree in Youth and Community Work at Durham University. Following those qualifications he worked for Stockton, Gateshead and Durham County Councils. He was Senior Manager for the Youth Service by the end of time at Durham, specialising in access and inclusion, supporting young carers and young people with disabilities.
He said: “I found this time so rewarding but knew I wanted to be free to deliver services that I believed could be even more impactful, directly in the charity sector.When I joined NE Youth (Formally Northumberland Boys Clubs) we had just two employees and no profile at all. Now we have a team of 10 and 15 seasonal youth workers with long-standing members of staff who have been with us for a number of years.
“Working with our directors we developed a long-term strategic plan and changed from being an organisation that was an affiliation network for junior football teams into something much more pro-active.
“We knew we could empower clubs of all types, not just football, to be even more effective with support and funds.There is now a far greater diverse range of youth and community projects under our umbrella.
“Now we have a dynamic chair in Fiona Lees-Millais and a great portfolio of projects and fundraising events.One of the new pieces of work we are undertaking is with Karbon Homes.We’re currently delivering a piece of strategic work for them in five areas one of which is Chester le Street.
“Our research is looking at how young people view their community and what type of investment they want to see in the area.We have a great team who know exactly how to get first-hand information that will help to ensure communities thrive and young people have a great quality of life and develop.”
NE Youth is also supporting the development of the provision at Auckland Youth and Community Centre in Bishop Auckland.
The substantial growth in the organisation in the last five years is now being built on as Jon Niblo has more ambitious plans. As part of this approach he has recently appointed Steven Irvine-Duffy as business development manager.
Steven will be helping the NE Youth to work collaboratively with the business community, encouraging pro-bono work, CSR relationships and corporate fundraising at various Youth North East events.One of the largest of these is a Burns Night Ball at the Grand Hotel, Gosforth in January.
In his personal life Jon Niblo is married and a proud father of two, his son Fletcher is 12 and his daughter Charley 17 who will compete in the world cheerleading championships in Orlando in 2020.