The drive to encourage and support healthy living in Newcastle’s west end will continue for a further year with the backing of the development partnership behind The Rise.

New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC) has pledged £10,000 to the initiative, run by community health charity, Healthworks.

The donation will pay for eat well, move more, live longer sessions for adults and children; the extension of a local history project, which includes discovering and plotting urban walks; outdoor family events and a series of food and craft activity sessions – lockdown restrictions permitting.

Such initiatives helped Healthworks to win prestigious national recognition.  It was one of just 10 charities, from more than 350 across the UK, to win a GSK IMPACT 2021 Award. These recognise the work of small and medium sized charities in improving health and wellbeing in communities across the country.

Kath English, Health Promotion Director from Healthworks, said:  “Despite all the restrictions of 2020 we still managed to deliver a wide range of support to around 250 individuals and families and worked in partnership with seven other local organisations by making use of digital communications.

“The history project and virtual walks proved particularly popular, as did an online wreath making project we did before Christmas – both of which we plan to do again, thanks to the generous support of the team at The Rise.  Without this money we would not be able to deliver this work or continue the project which has been so well received by local residents.  It is truly appreciated.”

Lee McGray, Director with NTWDC, added:  “Supporting local work like this, which encourages community cohesion and opportunities for new and existing community members to get together is a key aim of our project.

“It is fantastic to see the Healthworks team receive national recognition for the work it does, particularly to keep people engaged and supported during the lockdown and we had no hesitation in continuing our support.

“Hopefully the activities planned for the coming year will be able to go ahead in a much more normal way, forging new links and friendships on and beyond The Rise.

NTWDC is a partnership between Newcastle City Council and regeneration and construction specialist, Keepmoat Homes.  Since it began developing the 27 hectare site on the banks of the River Tyne at Scotswood, almost 400 homes have been completed – 332 for private sale and the remainder for affordable rent and shared ownership.

With phase two now well underway, construction is being stepped up to deliver 100 homes a year over the next five years.  When completed, The Rise will comprise around 1,800 homes with its own district heating system – already in place – and a neighbourhood centre, including community, retail and health provision space.

Alongside this, local community and charity groups – such as Healthworks – will continue to benefit from up to £75,000 each year from a fund set up to support educational, art and environmental initiatives, celebrating the area’s history.

Access to employment, schools and non development apprenticeships projects will also be backed, whilst on site, most of the investment made will be spent with local suppliers and contractors, supporting further training opportunities, apprenticeships and job creation.