LGA Foundation Supports Neighbourhood Youth Projects in Newcastle

The LGA Foundation is pleased to be working with Sir James Knott Trust and The Ballinger Charitable Trust to support services that provide a lifeline for vulnerable young people in Newcastle.

The Newcastle Neighbourhood Youth Project (NYP) brings together seven organisations from across the city with each receiving £30,000 over three years towards their running costs, enabling them to continue and expand their vital work.

They will also benefit from an additional funding pot aimed at training the next generation of youth workers and developing skills, bringing the total funding to £730,000.

The funding has come at a vital time for the projects as they rise to the challenges of delivering youth work in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak.

From street pottery to cookery sessions, camping and rock climbing trips to museum visits, employment advice and mental health support to just a safe space with someone to turn to – the activities and services provided by the dedicated youth workers and volunteers aim to help young people overcome challenges and reach their full potential.

Patchwork Outward Bound Group

But with social distancing rules now in place, the projects have had to quickly adapt their services to ensure they can continue to support young people when they need it most.

The charities involved in the project are: The Bostey, D2, Kids Kabin, North Benwell Youth Project, Northbourne Youth Initiative, Patchwork Project and West End Women and Girls.

Sue Reece, LGA Foundation, said: “Neighbourhood youth projects like these are making a massive difference to their communities.

“They provide a safe space and run lots of fun activities that give young people access to new experiences that can build their confidence and widen their horizons.

“When we started discussions around this project last year, we could never have imagined the situation we would all be in now following the Covid-19 outbreak. But I think it has highlighted even more, how important a role neighbourhood projects have in our society and we are proud to be able to help contribute to their important work.”

Jodie Grieveson, youth project manager, the Bostey, said: “The Bostey has played a key role in the community for 60 years and this donation is a real game-changer for us. It means we have some security for the next three years and can look to expand to the services we offer.

“Youth clubs aren’t just about a room with a pool table, we offer our users the chance to learn new skills from cooking to photography, arrange museum visits and outdoor activity sessions and provide support such as managing mental health.

“We are looking forward to working with the other organisations involved in the NYP and sharing ideas and skills.”

Angela Smith, manager, D2, said: “We are delighted with this financial support which enables us to continue our vital work on Newbiggin Hall Estate and achieve better outcomes for vulnerable young people in need of our help.”

Kids Kabin Street Pottery Session

Will Benson, manager, Kids Kabin, said: “Kids Kabin commits to supporting children and families in disadvantaged communities and we are now working in Walker, Pottery Bank, Daisy Hill, Byker and Cowgate in Newcastle.  Core funding such as this is crucial in enabling us to commit to neighbourhoods in the long term – vital in building trust and relationships and enabling change.

“Each year we work with over 1,000 children and young people in Newcastle and this funding will play an important part in supporting this work.

Margaret Ridley, project co-ordinator, North Benwell Youth Project, said: “This funding has given NBYP security and stability which will allow us to develop areas we have identified as a priority.

“We want to increase our detached work to offer opportunities to more young people to help them to integrate into living in Newcastle.

“Investing in training a local young person in youth and community work has been on our agenda for a while but we have been unable to pursue this through lack of funding – now we can make this a reality.

“Being part of the NYP also gives us more energy and a clearer vision of the work we wish to achieve in the future.”

Rachel Martin, project manager, Northbourne Youth Initiative, said: “We aim to offer a safe space where young people can escape from the pressures they may feel in other areas of their lives and develop their talents.

“As well as helping to fund our core costs, this money will also enable us to take on and train two more youth workers.  The people who make the best youth workers are, I think, those who have been part of the initiative, as they understand the community and the issues young people face. It will also be great to work together with the other organisations and share skills and ideas.”

Michael Bell, project manager, Patchwork Project, said: “When you’re living on a shoestring, travelling anywhere – even to the city centre or the beach is hard, let alone the countryside. So, we try to expose young people to as many different new experiences as possible. We take them into the countryside, go swimming, foraging, camping and climbing and foster a curiosity in the world.”

West End Women and Girls Centre

Huffty McHugh, coordinator for West End Women and Girls, said: “This money will be used to provide activities and services to women and girls from the West End of Newcastle. In the current financial climate, donations like this are more important than ever in keeping grassroots neighbourhood organisations like ourselves afloat.”

Catherine McKinnell MP, Member of Parliament for Newcastle North, said: “The Newcastle Neighbourhood Youth Project is a fantastic initiative and especially welcome at the current time when the pandemic has brought huge challenges for families and the charities who support them.

“Thank you to John and Sue at the LGA Foundation, as well as the Sir James Knott Trust and The Ballinger Charitable Trust, for bringing this together.

“D2 in my constituency is a great community resource and the team do valuable work with young people, particularly on support for education, employment and training. Their efforts during this crisis have been inspiring and it is great to see them supported through this new project to continue this important work.”

Chi Onwurah MP, Member of Parliament for Newcastle Central, said: “I am pleased that the fantastic work by those involved in the Newcastle Neighbourhood Youth Project has been recognised with this grant award. The grant will empower some of the city’s best charities to continue to work together providing support for Newcastle’s young people. COVID-19 has hit us hard, but the solidarity and community spirit that I have seen in Newcastle throughout the pandemic makes me proud. The Newcastle Neighbourhood Youth Project demonstrates this solidarity as the seven partnered organisations adapt to provide the fast and effective emergency response that this pandemic has required in our communities.”

The LGA Foundation is keen to receive applications for funding for projects that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of those in need – particularly of young people. For more information on how to apply visit: https://lga-foundation.org/