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Lottery boost for fledgling outdoor charity

IN THE MONEY ... Tyneside Outdoors co-founder Gerard New.
IN THE MONEY ... Tyneside Outdoors co-founder Gerard New.

A FLEDGLING charity helping young South Tynesiders get on their bikes to enjoy the great outdoors has landed a National Lottery cash boost.

Tyneside Outdoors, set up last March by community workers Gerard New and Kath Lohfink, has already supported an effort by a group of young people to reopen a BMX track at the Temple Park playing fields in South Shields.

We want young people to become out-of-doors enthusiasts, enjoying the coast and countryside of our region

Kath Lohfink

The organisation worked with the group, aged 12 to 21, to clear away brambles and help return an old track at the park to its former glory, and it is helping it secure funds to complete the revamp.

Now Tyneside Outdoors is extending its charitable reach, after being given a £9,720 grant by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All kitty to establish two new youth groups in the east and west ends of Newcastle.

The charity aims to encourage young people across the region to make the most of the outdoor amenities on their doorstep. Kath said “We want young people to become out-of-doors enthusiasts, enjoying the coast and countryside of the region and further afield, but it’s not just about the outdoors – our youth work is about helping young people to learn and develop into active, happy and healthy individuals, something that’s not that easy to achieve for families on low incomes or living in more disadvantaged parts of the region.”

Gerard added: “There are so many fantastic parks in the North East, such as Temple Park and Marine Park, as well as other resources on the South Tyneside coast, for people to enjoy.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris