THE former head of Barnardo’s is to oversee a Government programme on the North Yorkshire coast to improve social mobility for children and young people.

Sir Martin Narey, a top Government adviser on children and former chief executive of Barnardo’s will be tasked with helping young people fulfil their potential and raise their aspirations as chair of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area.

It is one of 12 such areas set up in a £72m Government programme to target areas of the UK which face the greatest challenges in relation to social mobility.

Loading article content

They will bring together education, business and communities to create programmes tailored to what will work for different parts of the country facing different challenges.

Sir Martin, a government adviser on children’s social care who was also chief executive of the National Offender Management Service, will lead the North Yorkshire Coast partnership board which covers Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

Sir Martin who lives on the coast and is deeply committed to the area said he was “very pleased” to accept the Department for Education’s invitation to be the chair for the coast.

“Most of my working life has involved trying to help those born in disadvantageous circumstances better to fulfil their potential. And, living as I do in Whitby, I recognise the particular challenges in the wider Scarborough area,” he said.

“But I'm optimistic that we can find practical things to change and improve which will make a real difference to the prospects of our young people.”

The North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area builds on work by North Yorkshire County Council, which has already committed £750,000 to an initiative called the Scarborough Pledge to bring about a community-wide shift in attitude about expectations for the area’s young people.