AN entente cordial has brought French friends to South Shields to experience the town’s ‘Good Life’.
Four social care workers from Noisy-le-Sec, the borough’s twin town, paid a fact-finding visit this week to experience successful projects that cater for young people, aged 16-25, with learning difficulties and disabilities.
They called into Holder House Allotment Project, in Whiteleas, to learn all about the Community Interest Project, a social firm where young people and adults attend to relax and gain hands-on workplace experience.
The visitors had the opportunity to talk with staff, adults and young people who form part of the 55 regular weekly users of the facilities, which host workshops, weekend and after-school clubs and horticulture courses.
Coun Ernest Gibson, the deputy mayor of South Tyneside, has worked closely with the Holder House Garden project, doing regular volunteer work there.
He said: “This week is an exciting time for South Tyneside, as we are welcoming with open arms our good friends from Noisy-le-Sec.
“This is a very important project for the borough, as it gives our service providers an opportunity to showcase the excellent work they deliver for the young people of South Tyneside.
“It also allows our European counterparts a chance to exchange knowledge that can be beneficial for all parties involved, and as deputy mayor it is a very fulfilling to be communicating our good work across the Channel.”
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of the council, said: “South Tyneside has a long and proud 50-year history of successful town twinning projects.
“The programme with Noisy-le-Sec represents how people from different cultures and localities can join together and learn from their practices and experiences.”
Annie Bernier, one of the visitors, said: “I would like to be able to put in place links between young people in our twin towns on behalf of our town twinning committee, perhaps through a school, local sporting clubs or groups who support elderly people with those with learning difficulties.
“I hope to be able to talk about ideas together and share priorities during our visit.”