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Homes for Northumberland were awarded funding of £26,000 from our Future Sparks Regeneration Fund to start a project that they believed would improve and bring pride back to the Newsham and New Delaval areas of Blyth.
Discussions with tenants and local agencies such as the Police and local Youth Services, combined with information of previously reported issues, had identified four main areas of concern for Homes for Northumberland residents:
The project, Newsham Community Matters, was based on the learnings of similar initiatives that had been delivered in the region with our help.
There were three parts to the project- IT Matters, Practical Matters and Family Matters. This included the creation of a Learning Hive, budget and health related classes and physical and practical engagement sessions to enhance skills and employability, whilst bringing community cohesion back for residents.
The results have been astounding, in the first 6 months of the project 167 people have enjoyed craft sessions under the Practical Matters strand as well 292 people attending a Lunch Club. During this period 66 people have also benefited from attending the IT Matters session facilitated by the Learning Hive and more than 200 people have attended a family fun day in March. The scheme has gained a high volume of publicity regionally and is set to continue running, with discussions in place for it to be replicated in other areas of the county.
Rod Brasington, chief executive of Prosper, said: “We are delighted our social value dividend has helped get this project off the ground. It’s a great initiative which has had a huge impact on the local area and has really brought the whole community together.”
Mandy Mason, Area Housing Manager at Homes for Northumberland, said: “The funding we received really helped the project become what it is today. Without it, it would not have been possible. The team at Prosper went above and beyond to help us get the project off the ground, and that shows in what we’ve achieved.”