Community Arts Project North East forced to closed its doors due to impact of the pandemic

An arts project which has helped scores of people over the past five years has been forced to permanently close its doors due to the impact of the pandemic.

Directors of CAPNE, Ben Hudson and Diane Fray
Directors of CAPNE, Ben Hudson and Diane Fray

Community Arts Project North East (CAPNE) worked across South Tyneside supporting various community groups and schools, helping them facilitate projects and share their story.

After launching in 2016, CAPNE offered support for individuals, school groups, community groups and businesses to gain skills in communication, presentation, and IT, producing radio programmes and podcasts to tell their stories.

After becoming involved with various groups and schools the project would share the stories of those involved, with the belief that everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone has a way of telling it.

Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit in March last year, the group were forced to stop all work, with projects they were involved in either being delayed or cancelled, leaving CAPNE struggling financially.


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After a challenging year, directors of the group Diane Fray and Ben Hudson made the difficult decision to call time on CAPNE, but look back proudly on what they were able to achieve over the last five years and the community groups they were able to support.

Diane said: “It’s really disappointing we’re having to lose Community Arts Project North East but I look at the positives.

"We’ve done some really great things over the last five years and there are lots of opportunities to help community groups facilitate projects they want to work on.

“Groups that support community members whether young, old or anything in between do a vital job offering support and I’ve been so proud to be a part of that.”


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CAPNE were based out of Bilton Hall in Jarrow, but worked all across South Tyneside and beyond supporting community initiatives.

Over the last five years, the non profit organisation played a key role in supporting youth groups such as the Central Jarrow Detached Youth Project, Jarrow Sea Cadets and also isolated older people.

Diane added: “We’ve worked with so many amazing people and community groups over the last five years, young and old, there is so many highlights and hundreds of good memories.”

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