Major lottery award spells job boost for North Shields community

Meadow Well Connected chairman Julie Kelly with North Tyneside Mayor Norma Redfearn.
Meadow Well Connected chairman Julie Kelly with North Tyneside Mayor Norma Redfearn.

The numbers have come up for a North Tyneside community programme after it was awarded £460,635 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Meadow Well Connected in North Shields has secured the cash to build on the many initiatives it runs to support residents in the Riverside and Chirton wards.

The area is one of the most deprived in the country, with nearly a quarter of adults having no qualifications and the highest ratio of people claiming long-term job seekers’ allowance.

The centre will use the three-year fund to provide a computer suite for those seeking work, with staff at hand to help, as well as to continue its advice services and develop outreach work, particularly with local employers.

Chief officer Mandi Cresswell said: “We aim to provide a place where local people can come to learn and develop in friendly supportive environment.

“Our initiatives help to improve the employability, self-esteem, confidence, health and community spirit of this area. The programmes are community driven, not prescriptive, meaning it is the residents who identify what will help them most.

“This substantial award supports us in continuing to deliver these, and not as a short-term hand out, but as an investment to help the people of the area create a richer community over the long term.”

North Tyneside Mayor Norma Redfearn welcomed the award.

“This grant will go a long way towards helping Meadow Well Connected to not only continue, but further the excellent support it already provides.

“It’s so important that in this day and age we support residents to get the skills and confidence they need to go into work and make a career for themselves, which the Meadow Well programme does so well.”