AN independent living project for vulnerable young people will be expanded in the North-East thanks to a £15,000 donation.

AA Driving School has given charity Centerpoint the funding to enable the Lifewise scheme to reach out to an extra 40 people – in addition to the 160 people in County Durham who already benefit from it.

Jim Kirkwood, managing director of the AA Driving School, said: “We meet a lot of young people at a point in their lives when they are just starting to build their own life.

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“Not everyone has the easiest time doing that, or a strong support system to help them, so I am really pleased this donation will help some of those who are struggling at this important junction in their lives.”

Lifewise aims to prevent homelessness by delivering informal accredited education sessions.

It was originally set up in County Durham for 16 to 25-year-olds who were failing their tenancies within the first few months of receiving a home.

Extending the project will cost £30,000 so the AA Driving School’s donation will be match-funded by Centrepoint.

Martin Gill, regional operations manager for Centrepoint, said: “The project makes a real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people who are at risk of becoming homeless and we are delighted we will now be able to increase the number of people who benefit from it.”