Encompass South West and Families in Grief will both benefit

Children in Need has awarded £177,388 for two North Devon charities for their work with children and young people.

The BBC charity has given £105,450 to Encompass Southwest, to go towards The Junction, a drop in service for 16 and 17-year-olds who are currently or at risk of being homeless.

A grant of £71,938 has also gone to the Families in Grief charity, which works to support children and families following bereavement.

For Encompass, it will cover the cost of a full time housing officer for the next three years, who will help young people with housing issues such as finding a permanent place to stay or even emergency accommodation.

Phil Davey at Encompass said they were delighted with the grant, as repeat funding from Children in Need had helped to create an effective, highly regarded project.

“Young people who access the project are often wrestling with a complex range of problems that could, for example, include family breakdown, financial crisis, unemployment or mental health issues,” he said.

“Without advice and support, these issues can quickly lead to homelessness and the associated increase in risk and vulnerability.”

Families in Grief will use the money for a support worker to runs sessions for children and young people coping with grief and loss.

For up to seven weeks, children can engage in activities such as storytelling, or sharing memories and emotions to encourage them to explore their feelings of bereavement.

Activities range from crafts to surfing or walking along the beach. The project also offers visits to the family to get to know people prior before the sessions, which are free and open to all local young people.

Additionally, the group offers training for professionals who are working alongside children or young people impacted by death.