KEY Project’s £3,000 grant helping put young people back on their feet

The South Tyneside Churches KEY Project is giving dozens of local young people a better chance of finding work, with the help of new funding from a building society.

The charity runs a variety of projects designed to prevent youth homelessness and support people in hardship across the borough. It also celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022.

To increase their chances of finding and keeping employment, KEY Project has a new employability initiative offering practical advice and support to anyone needing help to find, get and keep a new job, as well as raising aspirations for what they can achieve.

It’s hoped that the scheme, which is being funded through a £3,000 grant from Newcastle Building Society, will eventually help around 50 local young people.

Chelsea Glenn, left, well-being and employability coach with The Key Project with Erin Mulligan, people partner at Newcastle Building Society.

It has already helped four people to find new jobs and apprenticeships.

South Tyneside Churches KEY Project runs around 50 units which provide accommodation for people aged between 16 and 24 who are facing homelessness with tenancy support, family intervention and mediation services.

It also runs the KEY2Life anti-poverty projects alongside fellow local community group Churches Together in South Tyneside.

The funding is from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which offers grants to charities and community groups in and around the communities served by the society.

Jo Benham Brown of the South Tyneside Churches KEY Project, said: “Our work is about much more than just helping someone find a job.

“It’s about raising aspirations with our young people, realising the huge potential that so many of them have and showing them the opportunities that are out there for them.

“Many of our service users have grown up in situations where unemployment was sadly just a fact of life and often don’t have the tools and knowledge to even prepare for finding a job that many of us take for granted.

“This new project aims to change their aspirations, equip them with the skills they need to get into the workplace and help them start to build successful, independent lives.”

Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Prince’s Trust.

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