Cornwall LivingIssue #70

Breaking the cycle

Award-winning charity Trelya helps Cornwall’s most disadvantaged families and children, providing support, activities and stability.

Cornwall has consistently been voted the number one tourism destination in Britain, and yet in this haven of peace and tranquillity lies an often overlooked situation of poverty. In fact, Penzance, with its historic port, tropical gardens, mild climate and stunning beaches is actually home to the most deprived neighbourhood in Cornwall.

“…skills, knowledge, awareness, motivation and aspirations…”

Trelya’s mission is to break the generational cycle of social and economic deprivation; to enable children, young people and families facing the greatest challenges to develop the skills, knowledge, awareness, motivation and aspirations necessary to break the cycle of deprivation and build safe, positive and fulfilling futures.

The team operates out of the Lescudjack Centre, which as well as providing space for Trelya’s activities offers local groups and businesses rental space for events and meetings. This in turn helps support the valuable programmes and community work undertaken by Trelya’s professional team of youth workers. They run a number of projects that actively seek out children, young people and families that need support, working with them to address key issues and help them make healthy choices about their lives and futures, all with the overriding aim of enabling them to break the cycle of social exclusion for good.

Cat Keene, Director of Programmes and Operations at Trelya, tells us: “Some kids dread going to school as they often don’t have a clean uniform, and know that they’ll get into trouble for not having a PE kit, or for being late because no one was there to wake them up.” Police Constable Jodie Fellows, who has been involved with Trelya as Youth Intervention Officer for West Cornwall, says: “My experience with Trelya has lead me to recognise it as a very effective organisation in working with vulnerable and at-risk children and young people, and enabling change in difficult circumstances.”

Trelya runs ground-breaking programmes, including SKYLAR, which works with identified, marginalised vulnerable mums, helping them bond with and nurture their children and build their skills as parents.

They also run Friends of the Children, a pioneering mentoring scheme that’s had huge success in the USA. Trelya is the first international affiliate of the programme, which provides intensive, community based, long-term support to the most at risk children, assigning each child their own dedicated project worker, who helps them at school, at home, on the street and/or at Trelya.

"...skills, knowledge, awareness, motivation and aspirations..."