105FM :: Local Radio for Redcar & Cleveland

Support from major companies at the Wilton International site has given an enterprising Redcar charity the chance to get 31 young people off benefits and into work.

Redcar Development Trust (RDT) – led by former professional boxer Frankie Wales – has used £22,000 donated by Wilton companies in the last two years to pursue training and development opportunities for the previously jobless youngsters. 

Lotte Chemical UK, SABIC UK Petrochemicals, Sembcorp Utilities UK, Ensus UK and Huntsman Polyurethanes all offered to help out after Frankie outlined his plans to site directors.

Now the five firms, plus a sixth - Falck Fire Services - have agreed to a further £10,500 of funding for the Coatham Memorial Hall based organisation in the year ahead.

Frankie, founder and Chief Executive of RDT, said: “The entire team was overwhelmed that the main firms at Wilton were once again prepared to support our work. 

“We have demonstrated in the past two years that we have used their money wisely. It equates to £700 for every job created and the site companies’ continued support is a tremendous vote of confidence in what we are doing.”

RDT has been able to give young people access – many for the first time - to invaluable work experience and skills development opportunities and also to adopt attitudes and behaviours that have enabled them to secure permanent positions with a range of local employers entirely on merit.

New community initiatives have been set up including a regular Pop In Centre bringing youngsters together with the most disadvantaged and socially isolated older people in the borough. 

Also popular are occasional Intergenerational Days held at the hall and RDT used one recently to thank the site directors for their continued support.

Douglas Annan, of Sembcorp, representing all the Wilton firms, said: “RDT has clearly demonstrated its value and we were delighted to continue our support for another year. 

“Events such as the Intergenerational Days are an excellent example of bringing older, more vulnerable citizens together with younger people in a constructive way that develops the skills of the young and breaks down barriers of age and other misconceptions that the young and old have about each other.” 

RDT also runs a pre-employment course for women from the Memorial Hall as well as new regular keep fit sessions for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and other lung/breathing disorders and is working closely with Redcar and Cleveland social workers to get more people into fostering. 

The original Redcar Amateur Boxing Club, established by Frankie to get young people off the streets and away from boredom, crime and drugs, continues with over 80 young people regularly attending. Its success has also spawned a female only boxing club and a non-contact group for 5-9 year olds.

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