A youth group in Croydon that helps young people in the borough improve their future prospects are set to "triple" the size of their operation thanks to a funding boost from the City of London.

Youth charity Reaching Higher said the new money would make a "huge" difference to young people in Croydon involved in the scheme after the grant — some £143,750 from the City Bridge Trust — was announced late last year.

The funding will be spread over five years and go to support a series of "workshops on topics such as relationship-building, self-esteem and financial literacy, alongside mentoring, work experience and volunteering opportunities" a spokesperson said.

Reaching Higher work with schools and colleges in Croydon to give young people a boost ahead of finishing education with workshops on networking, interviews, self-esteem and targeted work experience projects.

Alecia Blackford, Reaching Higher's youth work delivery manager, described the work the charity does in Croydon:

"The leadership programme brings together young people who are at risk with other young people and adults from completely different backgrounds, broadening their horizons and allowing them to realise the world is bigger than their own perspective.

"It has a huge impact on their confidence and self-esteem, allowing them to form positive relationships and to develop the kind of soft skills potential employers are looking for, setting them up for the transition from school to college or university."

Your Local Guardian: Dami Olorunnisomo from Reaching Higher. Dami Olorunnisomo from Reaching Higher.

Reaching Higher point out that many of those enrolled in the scheme end up working with the group in some capacity later in life, which can also boost their CVs.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, described the work the group do as "fantastic" and predicted a "huge" positive difference he and the City expect the funding to make.

"Reaching Higher is already doing fantastic work in helping young people who might otherwise take the wrong path in life to get back on track and to boost their chances of success in academic and professional life," he said.

"This funding will make a huge difference in allowing the charity to significantly scale up its leadership programme and to offer genuinely life-changing opportunities to many more young people."

According to the NGO Trust For London, who focus on poverty and inequality in the capital, Croydon has worse unemployment rates than a number of other London boroughs, standing at 5.4 per cent.

"Child poverty rates (30 per cent) in Croydon are lower than the typical London borough (38 per cent), but at least 9 percentage points above the lowest boroughs" in London, the group point out in data released on their website.

For more information about Reaching Higher, click here