Blyth student Abigail Pattison conducted an exclusive interview with Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy at the Silx Teen Bar, a youth project in the town. During the interview Abigail asked about a range of topics from transport, education, employment and investment in the town.
Abigail is a regular at the Silx Teen Bar which is a registered charity that provides social activities for 11-25 year olds. It was established in 1995 with the objective of reducing drug use in the town but is now the largest youth provider in the county, helping over 300 young people each week.
The charity gives young people somewhere to meet and socialise. It also helps young people into employment and works with its users to increase their skills and employability.
The building was originally a late bar and on his visit Ian Levy commented that the last time he was there he was drinking with friends. He praised the work of the charity, particularly centre manager Jackie Long who has worked with the charity for over 25 years.
Following his visit Ian said: “Silx provide a vital service to young people in the town. They provide help getting young people into work as well as opportunities to develop skills and training. All their services are free at the point of contact and they rely on donors to do the work they do.
“I really enjoyed meeting Abigail and I hope she enjoys the rest of her engineering degree. It was a good experience for me to be interviewed by someone as passionate for our area as she is.
“I look forward to working with Silx in the future. They’re keen to work with other service providers and businesses in the town to broaden the range of opportunities they can offer the young people who use the centre. I’ll be doing all I can to help them with that.”