A NEW group which will recruit local youngsters to help deliver a programme of events specifically for 14-19 year olds and encourage better levels of literacy in South Tyneside has won the backing of a major international firm.

Mirabaud, a Geneva-based banking and financial group, is sponsoring a new programming group aimed at teenagers aged 14-19.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, at Market Place in the town centre is currently seeking teenagers to join a young people’s board which will be responsible for developing a full programme of activities to encourage 14-19 year olds to visit the national centre.

Now Mirabaud, a company which has offices all over the world, has offered financial support to help get the group and board up and running.

“We were keen to get involved as soon as we heard about the project, as part of our corporate social responsibility work which supports young people to help them achieve the best in life,” said Robert White, Assistant Portfolio Manager of Mirabaud.

“As an organisation, we want to put something back and strongly believe that if a young person has very good literacy skills, then the opportunities they will have in life are greater.

“We have been very impressed with what we have seen and learnt about The Word, particularly its aim to programme events to get young people excited about their own potential, and are delighted to be sponsoring this initiative.”

Representatives from Mirabaud recently visited The Word to see first-hand the facilities on offer, as well as meet some of the people involved in the project.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, was on hand to meet them and share his enthusiasm for the project.

“The literacy of the young people in South Tyneside is of paramount importance to everyone, and it’s been my privilege to meet with representatives of Mirabaud who support what we are working to achieve here,” he said.

“When the group is up and running, we really hope to make a difference to young people’s lives and it wouldn’t have been possible without financial backing.

“We are thrilled to have the support of an organisation as large and important as Mirabaud, and we are confident their support is going to have a real positive impact.”

For information on the activity and event programme at The Word, call 0191 427 1818 email enquiries@theworduk.org or visit www.theworduk.org.