We’re thrilled to announce that the BBC’s corporate charity, Children in Need, will continue to fund Llamau’s EMPHASIS project in Newport for another three years.

EMPHASIS provides holistic support to 14-19 year olds who are at risk of or are currently disengaging from education, training and/or employment. The project, which is in its 13th year in Newport, supports a number of young people every year.

Offering early intervention in a young person’s life, EMPHASIS aims to prevent homelessness and social exclusion through using one to one support, building up confidence and social skills, with the goal of integrating the young person into their community.

Welcoming the news, Director of Fundraising and Communications for Llamau, Jenna Lewis,

We’re thrilled to receive another three years of funding from Children in Need for EMPHASIS. The programme forms a fundamental part of Llamau’s services in Newport, supporting young people through a range of health and wellbeing issues that prevent them from engaging with areas of life often taken for granted, such as socialising, education and employment.  

With third sector services often facing detrimental funding cuts, this announcement is an extremely positive one for us and the young people EMPHASIS supports.

Last year, EMPHASIS Support Worker, Wendy Huish worked with and supported 17 young people through some very difficult and troubling times.

I’m really happy that we have further funding. I enjoy my job and have been the Newport Emphasis worker since the project started. It is very rewarding when I bump into someone I’ve supported who’s still doing well.

How EMPHASIS Support Worker, Wendy, supported one young woman in Newport…

Kirsty was referred to EMPHASIS by her social worker. At the time, Kirsty wasn’t engaging with the social worker or any other service made available to her. As well as regularly going missing, there were also concerns she was being sexually exploited.

For nearly a year, Kirsty had avoided engaging with any form of education or service that could ultimately offer her help and support.

Eventually, Kirsty was referred to Llamau’s EMPHASIS Support Worker, Wendy. After arranging an initial meeting with Kirsty and her mum, Wendy went on to speak to Kirsty through her bedroom door for several months, until she found the courage to come out and meet Wendy face to face.

Slowly, Wendy was able to gain Kirsty’s trust, encouraging her to leave the house and get some fresh air, walking and talking. Shortly after, Wendy took Kirsty to meet with a training provider. Kirsty was always aware she could leave if she wanted to but with Wendy’s continued support, she began her training sessions. After initially attending with Wendy, Kirsty started to take the bus alone and attend training on a daily basis.

Kirsty continued to attend training, even during a very difficult time at home when a close family member went to prison. Her relationship with her tutor went from strength to strength meaning Wendy was able to withdraw her support.