Odd Socks Foundation gets cash boost to continue giving youngsters in South Tyneside a kick-start

A charitable foundation in South Tyneside has been awarded £10,000 to continue giving youngsters a kick-start in life.

The Odd Socks Foundation, which is based in South Shields, has recently received its largest cash injection to date, of £10,000 from the National Lottery Fund to continue their work in the borough.

The Foundation was set up by friends Lynsey Baxter and Nichola Whinthorpe in 2018 to provide a place for families of youngsters with a range of disabilities to go for help, advice and support.

They currently offer weekly classes for young people aged five to 16, with a range of additional needs, in drama and dance, and martial arts, as well as running six-week martial arts camps with local kickboxer, Jade Horne.

(From left) Odd Socks founders Nichola Winthorpe and son Bobby and Lynsey Baxter with sons Oscar and Harry. Photo by Helen Smith.

As part of the funding, £1,000 has been ring-fenced for the martial arts club, which will allow them to invest in new equipment and licensing for the children to compete in tournaments across the UK.

Leon Carr, eight, Kyran Armstrong, 10 and Robbie Armstrong, 15 are all set to compete in the group’s first tournament at the national Tyne and Wear Open in Gateshead on Saturday, November 9.

“We’re going to use the funding to travel around the country, taking the children to tournaments, this is the first tournament but it will be the first of many,” said coach Jade Horne.

The martial arts club which sees children with range of needs including autism and ADHD, helps build their confidence, establish relationships and blow off some steam.


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(From left) Leon Carr, Robbie Armstrong and Kyran Armstrong with kickboxing coach Jade Horne.

Jade explained: “For kids with ADHD the classes are an energy release, while for those children with autism it’s more about the social aspect, getting involved with the group and building relationships, it really helps with their confidence.”

The National Lottery funding means Odd Socks can continue their work and spread the word about their services in South Tyneside.

“We’re thrilled, receiving this funding means that we can continue doing the work that me and Lynsey do,” said Nichola.


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Lynsey added: “It’s massive for us, we’ve had so much support since we started, it’s a great group of children and parents and this means we can expand and grow the sessions.”

(From left) Leon Carr, Robbie Armstrong and Kyran Armstrong are set to compete in their first mainstream competition.