young person plays on music decks with studio manager

Extending our reach in
Cumbria and the North West

Brathay runs community programmes for children, young people and families across South Cumbria. All our programmes are designed to meet individual need and we operate using project workers based in targeted communities alongside our permanent town centre hub at Project John in Barrow-in-Furness

As a charity, our community-based programmes are delivered by a team of qualified and experienced youth workers, family support workers, mental health practitioners, teachers, and counsellors. Many of them live in the communities where they work, so they are truly committed to bringing about positive change.

Interested to know more about how we can help in South Cumbria? Please contact our friendly team at [email protected], they will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

Here are the current programmes we are delivering in South Cumbria:

Youth Matters is an all-inclusive youth provision for young people aged 11-18 years old who live in or around Kendal. The project delivered by Brathay Trust has for key outcomes:

  • Improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of Kendal Young People
  • Improving the physical wellbeing of Kendal Young People
  • Improving the aspiration and educational achievement of Kendal Young People
  • Improving Young people’s acceptance and positive engagement in their local community 

Youth Matters has several established services which evolve and respond to the local community’s need.

Below is a list of our current on-going projects, but we do deliver several other bespoke services or events, such as Anxiety Workshops, Prom For All (providing accessible prom wear for Year 11s in South Lakes) and Party At The Park, to name a few.

Youth Matters is also a part of the Kendal Youth Work Partnership, a multi-agency delivery partnership that brings together all youth based organisations (community, commissioned and statutory services) to work in collaboration to achieve positive outcomes for young people of Kendal.

Funders: Better Tomorrows (CCF), My Lakeland (CCF), Westmorland and Furness Council Community Fund, Frieda Scott Charitable Trust, Sport England.

These are our current on-going Youth Matters programmes:


OINK is an LGBTQIA+ youth group for young people aged 13-18 years old. OINK! Provides a safe and welcoming space for young people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. The sessions are driven by the young people.

Youth Matters Youth Group

The Youth Matters Youth Group is for young people aged 11-18 years old. It provides a safe and welcoming space for young people who live in Kendal to socialise with friends and try new activities.

You Matter

You Matter offers 1:1 coaching and mentoring for young people aged 11-18 years old who are struggling with their mental health. This be through a lack of self-esteem, confidence or resilience, they might also be experiencing low-level anxiety.

You Matter supports each young person to realise their own potential, our counsellors and project workers work alongside the young person to achieve their personal development goals.

Next Steps

Next Steps is a 10-week programme for young people in Year 7 who are struggling with the transition into secondary school. The aim is to help build the young people’s self-esteem and resilience, and equip them with the essential tools that need to navigate their secondary school journey. The programme is a mix of community-based activties and a residential trip to our centre in Ambleside.  

Try Something New

This 5-week programme offers opportunities for young people aged 11-18 years old to try a new activity with a local provider. Try Something New is targeted at young people who are not currently engaged in the community and therefore not benefiting from the positive impact youth activities can have for young people’s social and personal development.

The aim of the programme is to help build resilience, increase self-esteem and improve social connections – as well as trying out a potential new hobby! So far, our programme as included indoor climbing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, creative learning and skiing.

What is Elevate? Elevate is a 12-week early intervention programme, providing support for young people who are considered to be disengaged with the community, or engaging negatively with the community.

This referral-based programme focuses on young people’s individual strengths to inspire participants to realise their potential, rise aspirations and promote positive engagement within the community. The programme is a combination of 1:1 support and powerful group experience days that have been accredited by AQA Unit Awards.

We deliver Elevate programmes in both South Lakes and Barrow-in-Furness.

Funded by CCF Youth Opportunities Fund and Francis Scott Charitable Trust (for South Lakes), and WAF UKSPF (Shared Prosperity Fund) (for Barrow-in-Furness).

Who is Elevate for? Young people aged 12-16 years old (or in school years 8, 9 and 10) in South Lakes or Barrow-in-Furness area. Students in Year 7 are considered during the summer term.

What is Positive Pathways? Through the Positive Pathways Programme we support young people who are at risk of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) to re-engage with education, re-focus on their future, re-connect with their learning and future potential and re-build their relationships with their community and school.

The 14-week programme is delivered through a blend of 1:1 sessions and powerful experiential group activity days, with the aim of inspiring participants to realise their potential, raise aspirations and develop positive engagement with their school and community.

Funded by National Lottery Million Hours

Who is Positive Pathways for? Young people aged 15-16 years old (school year 10 or 11) who are disengaged from education and at risk of NEET.

What is Feel Good Function Well? Feel Good Function Well is a 10-week community based programme that supports young people to feel good about themselves in order to thrive (function well). The programme aims to increase self-belief and confidence in the young person’s own abilities, increase emotional awareness and ability to manage their emotions, improve communication and self-expressions.

Funded by BBC Children In Need.

Who is Feel Good Function Well for? Young people aged 11-12 years old (Year 7 to 8) who ar showing early signs of reduced mental health and wellbeing.

What is Nature Pathways? Nature Pathways’ purpose is to inspire people to develop a love of nature and want to protect it. Within this programme we look to increase equitable access to nature, allowing young people and nature to thrive in an ever-changing world.

This 3-year programme aims help communities in Barrow-in-Furness to utilise the green spaces on their doorstep to enhance their wellbeing and take action to protect it.

We will work with communities in 3 ways to reach the aims of the project:

  • Access and Engagement: engaging young people and their families with nature-based activties
  • Taking Action: enabling people from Barrow-in-Furness to actively contribute to nature-based conservation projects
  • Learning and Leadership: co-working with young people from the area to become environmental change-makers in their community.

Funded by Earnest Cook.

What is DWP Youth? The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) commissions Barrow Youth Hub, a partnership between Brathay and Project John, to help young people aged 16-25 years old who are in receipt of universal credit to access housing, employment, education or training. This is delivered through counselling, 1:1 support, wellbeing group sessions and specialist Youth Development Worker Support.

Who is it for? DWP Youth is for young people aged 16-25 years-old who are in receipt of universal credit. 

Funded by DWP

What is Furness For You? Furness For You is a multi-agency partnership between eleven different organisations in the Furness area. The aim of this partnership is focussed on reducing chronic loneliness and social isolation, and increasing volunteering within the community.

Brathay delivers a supportive approach to reduce loneliness and social isolation for young people aged 11-16 years old. The Furness For You Youth Project helps young people find their ‘space’ with targeted support, through either 1:1 sessions or talking therapy with our person-centred counsellor. Brathay supports young people in making their first steps towards increased confidence and wellbeing.

Our social group also provides ongoing peer support with like-minded young people hosted by experienced youth workers.

Who is it for? Furness For You is for young people aged 11-16 years-old living in the Furness area. 

Funded by DCMs Know Your Neighbourhood

What is MAGIC? The aim of MAGIC (Managing Anxiety and creating Goals for Increased Confidence) is to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people across in the Furness area.

We are achieving this by delivering support to young people directly in their Secondary School, we deliver fun and engaging one-to-one sessions with either a Counsellor or Youth Worker. Brathay Trust Youth Workers and Counsellors recognises and responds to the individual needs of every young person, working in a person-centred.

Who is it for? MAGIC is for young people aged 11-16 years-old living in the Furness area. 

Funded by Walney Extension Community Fund

Being a part of Brathay means believing that everyone has the right to feel good and function well

From key workers to office and hospitality staff, we're all committed to the cause.


Brathay is 75 this year!

We work with young people, families, employers and employees, to enhance wellbeing and create long-lasting personal change.