A charity which has been improving the lives of children and young people in the region for two decades, has celebrated purchasing the building it has been renting since 1998.

The Junction Foundation runs from a building on Station Road in Redcar, where it runs innovative services for children and young people. The Junction aims to make a difference to their lives by building resilience, improving mental health and unlocking potential, transforming the lives of young unemployed people. It also works to improve conditions for young carers.

They received £185,000 investment from the North East Social Investment Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, to enable them to complete the purchase.

The charity works with over 1,000 young people and children each year, who need some support to be able to reach for their potential.

Buying the property has opened up new opportunities for the organisation, which has already started refurbishing the building and repainting the shop front.

Lawrence McAnelly, Chief Executive of The Junction, said: “We’ve been looking at ways to improve our organisation’s sustainability for a number of years but it was only recently that the opportunity to buy the building presented itself.

“We’ve been renting the building for almost 20 years and have grown steadily as an organisation in that time. Owning our own building will provide opportunities to grow our income further – for example by renting out the additional space we have secured or by creating opportunities for employment – which will allow us to fund work with even more vulnerable young people across Teesside.”

Lawrence is a well-known figure in Redcar, having worked for several years in children and young people’s services, housing and homelessness.  He is also a Trustee and Chair of the Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency. It was through his work in the local area that he met Northstar Ventures, which backed The Junction’s asset purchase.

Peter Gilson, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “The Junction has a long history of supporting those in need in Redcar and Cleveland and the wider area. They have ambitious plans to expand their social impact in the next few years and buying their own property will give them the stability to achieve this.

“With the North East Social Investment Fund we have a lot of flexibility, meaning we’re able to fund property purchases and to provide working capital, which can be more difficult for traditional funders. We’ve been working with Lawrence and his team for several years, so it’s fantastic to see them secure a more sustainable future for The Junction.”

Lawrence added: “For many of the young people we work with, The Junction can be a home-away-from home. Now that we own our own property we will be able to invest more time and money to making the centre the best place it can be. It also means they know we’re going to be around for a long time to come!”