Six North East groups win cash to expand their work

Santander’s Social Enterprise Development Awards programme awards six North East groups a total of £130,000

Film-makers Deborah Bower, Adrin Neatrour, Mat Fleming at the Star and Shadow cinema
Film-makers Deborah Bower, Adrin Neatrour, Mat Fleming at the Star and Shadow cinema

A total of £130,000 has been distributed among six North East groups through a bank’s awards scheme.

The organisations have won between £50,000 and £10,000 from Santander’s Social Enterprise Development Awards programme.

The winning bodies are Food Nation, in Byker, Newcastle, Skills4U North East, based in Cramlington, Hexham’s Core Music CIC, Gateshead-based social enterprise Happy to Help, The Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle, and Roots and Wings, of Newcastle.

Skills4U North East has received £20,000 to expand its training services for unemployed and young people out of education in the Cramlington area.

It teaches vocational skills in construction, car maintenance, cookery and horticulture to people struggling to succeed in mainstream education or find full-time employment.

The money will be used to launch a new hair and beauty salon, including a coffee shop, to widen the range of apprenticeships and training on offer for young people.

Anne Marsh, chief executive officer at Skills4U, said: “The obstacles between those not in education, work or training and successful employment are numerous - difficult lifestyles, past problems in education and a myriad of other social issues.

“Santander’s £20,000 prize fund will allow us to develop the services we provide and continue to engage with, teach and develop those in the North East who struggle in full-time work.”

The Star and Shadow Cinema, which has won £10,000, shows an independent programme of inspirational films while also providing a venue for artists and musicians.

With the grant, the cinema will buy equipment to boost its community film-making projects and provide professional training for the volunteers involved.

Director Ilana Mitchell said: “Being a company entirely made up of volunteers means resources are lean. Winning this award from Santander will help transform our business.”

The Core Music CIC, in Hexham, has been awarded £20,000 to expand its community music events and activities.

Founded in 2008, Core Music has established itself in Tynedale as a major supporter of the music industry. It provides teaching and performance opportunities for students and tutors, work experience and volunteering for people interested in a career in music.

The grant will be used to set up an online shop and to hire a project worker who will develop music projects with a focus on making music more affordable, as well as helping to expand the teaching programme.

Mike Coleman, managing director, said: “Music should be accessible to everyone and is often a very important fabric of a community. By increasing the range of musical amenities as well as access to them, Core Music will support the development of a rich musical culture for people in the Tynedale area to experience.”

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