COMMUNITY groups and charities across South Tyneside are celebrating after being handed vital lottery funding.
Escape Intervention Services, in Market Dock, Long Row, South Shields, is one of three groups to benefit from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All small grants programme.
The group aims to promote the “emotional, social, educational and vocational competence” of children and young people by offering a range of counselling, advice and guidance.
Last year it was saved from closure when the Big Lottery Fund threw it a £458,950 lifeline.
Now the organisation, which targets 11 to 18-year-olds, has been handed a £10,000 grant to recruit additional counsellors, allowing it to expand its bereavement and loss support services.
Project manager Lynne Yousef said: “We’re hoping that this funding will help eradicate our waiting list. There is a huge need for mental health services, both locally and nationally.
“This money will make a massive difference.”
Elsewhere, Bede’s World, in Jarrow, has been awarded a £10,000 grant to extend a successful community radio and arts pilot project – called Hive at Bede’s World – as well as create a “meeting point” for socialising.
Kathy Cremin, the station’s founder and a museum director, said: “We are delighted that we have been awarded this cash.
“We believe that everyone has a story to tell and our mission is for the area’s heritage to be heard.
“We will be going out into the community and working with different groups. The money is helping us cover things including the costs of workshops, travel expenses and the hiring of venues.
“At the end of the project we’re hoping to host a premiere and we’ll invite along local musicians to perform.”
The Apna Ghar Women’s Centre, in Ocean Road, has also been handed £9,832 to provide a programme of training and support, including IT skills, conversational English classes, food hygiene, job hunting workshops, visits, talks and taster sessions from training and support agencies.
It is hoped the project will help remove barriers for black and minority ethnic women by providing support to access learning and employment opportunities to help them take a more active role in society.
Tim Davies Pugh, deputy director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “It’s great to be able to fund so many small projects that will make a big difference to people’s lives.
“We are currently hosting regular ‘webinars’ to advise applicants on how to submit good-quality applications and look forward to hearing from groups across the North East.”
The Big Lottery Fund is offering applicants support and guidance on applying for Awards for All funding.
Webinars run every week and last about 30 minutes.
Questions can be asked throughout the presentation through a live chat panel.
To join an Awards or All webinar, people can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 410 20 30 to book a place.