A COUNTY-wide project being run by a Droitwich charity is transforming the lives of young offenders, says the town’s MP Peter Luff.

After a visit to Youth Support Services (YSS) at its Elmley Lovett headquarters on Friday, February 1 he described the project as “inspirational”.

YSS is an independent charity with over 25 years experience of providing community based support services for children, young people, adults and families who are vulnerable, have complex needs and who face difficult life challenges.

The charity’s ‘Transition to Adulthood’ (T2A) pilot project in West Mercia, funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust, aims to work intensively with 16 – 24 year olds in the criminal justice system and, says the MP, “gives them a real chance to rebuild their lives.”

David Andrewartha, acting team manager for YSS, T2A worker Alison Steedman and three young people using the service spoke to Mp about their experiences.

The young adults shared their views on a number of issues including employment, the lack of affordable rented accommodation, services for those with mental health issues and the need to provide better education on drugs in schools. They also heard from Mr Luff about the role of an MP and the type of things he is currently working on.

Mr Luff said: "I saw that it is perfectly possible to turn around young lives and give people who have fallen into bad company or made serious errors of judgement a completely fresh start. The testimony I heard from young offenders about the effectiveness and importance of this scheme was really impressive and I congratulate everyone involved.”