Jobseekers in South Tyneside are getting extra help to find their way into work with the support of a local charity and new funding from Newcastle Building Society.
TEN North East manages and delivers a range of employment and training services which are designed to help local people overcome the various barriers they face in finding and keeping meaningful employment.
Headquartered in Hebburn, the charity also works with a growing number of young people who are not in education, employment or training to help them identify how they can start to prepare for and enter the world of work.
TEN North East has now used the £3,000 Newcastle Building Society grant to refresh its suite of ageing computers that its clients use for job searches, CV writing, interview practice and personal development work.
The funding has been provided through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which offers grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network.
Founded in 1994, TEN North East was originally set up to address the unemployment levels in South Tyneside caused by the decline in the shipbuilding and coal mining industries, but now also supports a number of clients based outside its home area.
It has a number of specialist employment advisors who work on a one-to-one basis with people with disabilities and/or challenging health conditions, and has also set up an informal drop-in job club service that anyone can access whenever they need any kind of employment support.
TEN North East also runs the South Tyneside Young Carers Project, which aim is to improve the quality of life of young carers and reduce their risk of isolation.
Gillian Hepplewhite, Employability Programme Lead at TEN North East, says: “The demand for our employability support has risen noticeably over the last 18 months, with the extra challenges presented by the pandemic often knocking the confidence of those who we’re looking to help.
“Every one of them is disadvantaged in one or more ways, and they are each facing their own set of barriers to finding meaningful, long-term employment.
“We try to tailor the help we provide to find the best ways forward for each person, and to make the right sort of support, advice and learning opportunities available to enable them to reach their personal objectives.
“Our computers are central to the work that we do, but the ones we’ve been using have been increasingly showing their age and replacing them was becoming an ever-more urgent priority.
“The flexibility that Newcastle Building Society’s grant has allowed us is making a big difference to the service we’re providing and it’s also making a big difference to the digital inclusion work we do with people who can’t otherwise access the technology that they need to find and apply for job vacancies.”
Stewart Nicol, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Denmark Centre branch in South Shields, adds: “TEN North East has been stepping up for more than a quarter of a century to help people in our community find and stay in employment, and their work has never been more important than it is today.
“The Society has focused much of its grant-making this year on helping to tackle issues around employability and it’s great to see the impact that this is having across our home region.”
Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has also contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Prince’s Trust.
The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.
The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.