Venue for young people unveiled

SUCCESS: Rugby star Oliver Roberts with care leaver Taz Iqbal.
SUCCESS: Rugby star Oliver Roberts with care leaver Taz Iqbal.

A new place and safe space for vulnerable young people has opened in Kirklees.

Number 12, based in the centre of Dewsbury, is the district’s second facility for people who are leaving care and preparing for the next stage in their lives.

The venue provides a safe space where there is advice and guidance about healthy lifestyles, housing and finance, life skills, training, education and employment, amongst many others.

It’s also a place for young people to meet their social workers and contains handy facilities, from a laundry to computer equipment and a kitchen where they can learn to cook.

The official launch was celebrated by young people, council staff – including chief executive Jacqui Gedman and Director of Children’s Services Mel Meggs – as well as Cllr Viv Kendrick, the Cabinet member for Children.

Huddersfield Giants star Oliver Roberts was also at the launch, where care leaver Taz Iqbal made a speech about her early life, her successes, her thoughts on leaving care and the support she has received.

Cllr Kendrick said: “We are thrilled to open Number 12 and offer an even greater level of support to our looked after children and care leavers.

“It’s a priority for us to help children and young people have the best start in life. Leaving care can be a challenge, so we do everything possible to prepare people for the change both emotionally and practically.

“I have seen for myself many times that the two centres, one each in North Kirklees and South Kirklees, are making a huge and lasting difference.

“Number 11 and Number 12 were developed in partnership with young people, so we have put their needs and wishes at the heart of everything we do.”