Chief Executive Janine Blythe said: “At the heart of everything we do are the thousands of children and young people who access our services each year.
“We have already seen a huge rise from both young people and their families who have been struggling since the pandemic began and we are determined as a charity to do all we can to reduce the strain and pressure the latest lockdown will bring. We would urge anyone who feels their family needs extra support to get in touch.”
The provision of free meals follows a number of new initiatives Inspire Youth Zone has introduced during the pandemic including the distribution of over £6,000 worth of food vouchers to school children during December alone and providing over 1,200 bags of personalised shopping to shielding Chorley residents in the Summer.
In addition to the re-introduction of free meals, Inspire Youth Zone has also relaunched their ‘Young Person’s Crisis Helpline’ immediately after Monday’s Prime Ministers announcement, to ensure the towns young people could access a friendly voice for those who need extra help and support.
Head of Youth Work, Ryan Powell, said: “Many young people have had their lives turned upside down due to coronavirus. In addition to food poverty, there has been a steep rise in anxiety, depression and isolation in young people and our incredible team of youth workers have been working tirelessly to help young people who are finding today’s challenges hard to cope with.
“Alongside meals and a crisis helpline, we will be providing a host of fun and engaging activities across social media through ‘Youth Zone at Home’, a virtual service we created in response to the first national lockdown to combat loneliness and isolation for all children and young people.” To arrange an appointment for free meal collection email Cafe@inspireyouthzone.org with your name and phone number and the team will arrange a call back.
If you’re a young person who would like to speak confidentially to a Youth Worker through their helpline you can text 07984 357293.