Community Fund reaches half a million!

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under News, On your estate - our Community Fund.

The housing company’s Community Fund has now given a massive £500,000 in cash grants, helping charities and community groups across Gateshead.

Since 2007, we have invested half a million pounds in organisations that support our residents. Another £250,000 worth of ‘in-kind’ work has also been provided by us and our partners to make physical improvements to community centres and other spaces.

The fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, is particularly keen to support groups aiming to help with issues around welfare reform, poverty and hate crime, as well as those who support the health and wellbeing of our oldest and youngest tenants.

Housing company Managing Director Jon Mallen-Beadle said: “One of my favourite parts of the
job is seeing local organisations flourish with the support of our Community Fund.

“The grants and in-kind work from the Community Fund have helped groups all over Gateshead,
from youth clubs to organisations for older people.”

Read on to find out about some of the groups that have benefited.

Central – Team Gym

Youngsters at Gateshead Team Gymnastics are jumping for joy after receiving two grants from the Community Fund to buy much-needed equipment.

The group, which is based at The Elgin Centre in Carr Hill, has been running since 2004 and aims to
help young people between the ages of five and 15 get involved with the sport and train both for competition and for fun.

The first grant of £2,129 enabled the club to purchase a new trampette so the gymnasts could learn more experienced moves such as backwards and forwards somersaults.

A second grant of £2,145 made it possible for another equipment upgrade to help the team to progress further.

Lysanne Murphy from The Gateshead Housing Company said: “The group provides opportunities for physical activity and socialisation in a disadvantaged part of Gateshead and is well-deserving of the grants.”

Photo: Reaching new heights at Gateshead Team Gymnastics

East – Friends of Felling Park

Friends of Felling Park has received support from the Community Fund to improve the appeal of the park and Felling town centre by involving local residents in social, leisure and recreational activities.

Last year the group was granted £2,780 to help get started on the park, as well as in-kind work including maintenance of trees, rotavating flower beds, weeding and rebuilding stone walls.

This year a Community Fund grant of £2,730 enabled the group to make further improvements to the park and purchase equipment and materials for family fun days.

Visitors both young and old have seen a huge difference in the park and local area as the volunteers involved in Friends of Felling Park work hard to make the area better.

Photo: Felling Park 

West – Barmoor Hub, Ryton

As a much-loved community centre, users of Barmoor Hub in Ryton were delighted to receive in-kind support from the Community Fund in 2016.

The multi-purpose centre provides a programme of activities to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of residents of all ages in Ryton and Crawcrook, especially children and young people.

The housing company helped to replace old fascia and cladding to the sports hall external wall and fire exit doors with new UPVC, making the hub smarter and safer.

Nancy Charlesworth of Barmoor Hub said: “We were thrilled with the in-kind work from the Community Fund. The work made such a difference to the building and we received lots of positive comments from centre users.”

Photo: Bowls at Barmoor Hub

South – Birtley music group

In January 2017 our Community Fund helped fund a weekly music group for young people in Birtley.

The £4,400 grant enabled Birtley Community Association to deliver the music group on Tuesday evenings for 11-19 year olds with the help of volunteers and qualified youth workers from North East Youth.

Working primarily with youngsters from the social housing estates of Elisabethville and Portmeads, the group aimed to engage with otherwise hard-to-reach young people who would benefit from youth worker interaction.

The Birtley Community Centre on Ravensworth Road in the Elisabethville Estate is a registered charity and runs a range of activities for people of all ages in Birtley. More than 700 people participate in the centre’s activities each year.

Carol Smith from Birtley Community Association said: “The Musical Youth programme makes a huge difference to the lives of young people who live in this area of South Gateshead.

“By encouraging young people to interact through music, our youth workers and volunteers can reach out to those who will benefit from extra support.”

Photo: Neighbourhood Housing Officer Chris Hardy joins in a jam session

Inner West – Dunston Community Association

Back in 2014, Dunston Community Association received some essential maintenance work thanks to our Community Fund.

The Dunston venue, which is home to several local community groups, needed a new alarm system to replace the previous one which was 30 years old.

When The Gateshead Housing Company heard how important the centre is to the local community, it agreed to contribute £4,000 from its Community Fund.

Dunston Community Association’s current activities include various fitness and martial arts classes, Dunston Silver Band, Ballroom Dancing, mums and toddlers group, Lunch Club and Art Group – something for everyone to get involved in.

Photo: Dunston Community Association celebrate their grant

Gateshead groups who would like to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 can do so on the Community Foundation’s website.

Please read the Community Foundation guidelines for full details about the types of organisations we can support and what applicants need to have in place before applying.

If you have any queries about the Fund, contact Jon Goodwin at: jg@communityfoundation.org.uk or call 0191 222 0945.