Dave McNichol is chief executive of Warrington Youth Zone and writes a regular column

It is widely reported that the Emotional Wellbeing of children and young people has been an increasing concern for many years.

Since commencing my role with Warrington Youth Club, based at the Peace Centre, in 2009, I have observed a significant increase in the amount of young people presenting at the Youth Club and Youth Zone who are struggling with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Following the pandemic there have been large numbers of children and young people across the country who have found readjusting to everyday life a real challenge and many have disengaged from education and society, often becoming socially isolated.

The main aim of the Youth Zone is to provide a space for children and young people to meet different people, try new activities and through doing so we often observe that their self-confidence increases.

This issue has long been a concern of the team at Warrington Youth Zone; therefore, we were thrilled when we were able to launch an innovative programme in partnership with Merseycare and Warrington Child Adolescent Mental Health Services in April 2023 entitled Youth in Mind. This service provides children and young people with a space to meet with a trained Youth Worker every day from Monday to Sunday to talk through any concerns or anything which is worrying them.

Over the past year more than 200 children have benefited from this programme.

We are aware that transport can be a barrier for some young people living in the parts of Warrington which are further from the centre. As such we have been working on a way to take some of our services to those young people.

In March 2024 we were informed that Warrington Youth Zone had secured funding from central government under the Mental Health Hubs funding stream to deliver the Youth in Mind Programme across the borough. We are in the process of finalising the locations, areas and venues which the programme will run from, and as soon as this is confirmed information will be included on our website and distributed through schools across Warrington.

If you would like more information about Warrington Youth Zone or the Youth in Mind Programme, or if you could support children and young people by volunteering or fundraising please contact us info@wyz.org.uk call 01925-997271 or visit our website www.warringtonyouthzone.org