A project giving a voice to young people and funding to develop their own ideas closed with an awards celebration last week.

Shout Out Stoke, run by Arch and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, enabled young people to participate in local government and business. It also awarded nearly £24k to teens in the city to develop their projects.

One project, “Paris with Love” created by Paris King, focussed on providing sleeping bags to homeless people in Stoke on Trent. At the event, Paris handed some of the bags over to the Rough Sleepers Team at Brighter Futures. Other projects have included initiatives to tackle negative self-image, improving mental and physical wellbeing and life skills.

Professionals have also received funding. Add Action, a mental health and addiction charity, were awarded with a number of Samsung tablets, so their staff can spend more time with their customers and less time completing work in the office.

Lynette Edwards, Participation Officer for the project, said: “Shout Out Stoke has left a legacy that has kick started programmes that will hopefully become, not just sustainable, but successful opportunities for young people to shape the future of our city.

Nic Lowry, Head of Operations at Arch said: “It’s been a fantastic project; the young people I have come across have been hard working, passionate and ambitious.  I think we should all be very proud of Stokes youngsters.”

The food for the event was provided by Cracking Good Food, a charity which teaches people to cook from scratch using affordable and healthy ingredients. The cooking school also received funding from Shout Out Stoke to run healthy eating sessions over the summer holidays.