Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 11.42.39A long-standing family and community outreach charity which has supported thousands of families across Gateshead over the last 25 years has received a cash boost from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation.
 
St Chad’s Community Project supports up to 800 families in the Bensham, Saltwell and Teams areas of Gateshead every year, and works alongside local people to build a better community by creating opportunities for personal and social development.
 
Based on Liddell Terrace in Bensham, St Chad’s offers high quality childcare, family support and educational opportunities, while its successful Holiday Hunger programme, which aims to ensure local children get enough to eat during the school summer holidays, has been used as a blueprint for similar projects elsewhere in the region.
 
And now, as it celebrates its silver anniversary, St Chad’s Community Project has been nominated to receive a £1,000 donation from the fund by the team at Newcastle Building Society’s Gateshead High Street branch.
 
The project was originally established in 1990 in response to growing concern about increasingly limited local access to child care, recreation and training resources, and has seen demand for support grow ever since.
Services are delivered a 17-strong staff team which is supported by eight volunteers, a number which St Chad’s is looking to grow in the coming months to ensure its activities can keep up with growing demand.
David Irwin, chief officer at St Chad’s Community Project, says: “We serve a very vibrant and strong community which has a range of old and new challenges that our services try to address, and which we hope go some way towards empowering individuals, building their confidence, creating independence and challenging disadvantage
 
Keeping up with our running costs is always a challenge for an organisation like St Chad’s, especially with demand both growing and changing for the services we provide, so this donation from the Newcastle is extremely welcome.
 
“We’ve recently appointed a volunteer coordinator to increase the number of local people who give their time in support of our various activities, and we’re very hopeful that our work will continue to make a real difference to hundreds of local families for many years to come.”
St Chad’s Community Project is one of ten regional good causes to which donations have been made by theNewcastle after they were nominated by staff across its branch and Head Office network.
 
The initiative is the latest in a line of supportive measures that the Society has provided to the communities right across the North East.
 
Victoria Cushin, manager at NBS’s Gateshead branch, adds: “As a mutual organisation, we’re keen to support the communities in which we work as much as we can, and the wonderful work done by St Chad’s Community Project makes it very worthwhile of our support.
 
“It is a fantastic locally-based charity that our branch staff and community are very supportive of, and our donation is just a token of appreciation for what the charity does for so many local families.”
 
The donations were made possible via an endowment fund held with the Community Foundation.  For more information on St Chad’s Community Project, visit www.stchadscommunityproject.co.uk