THE unemployed are kick-starting new careers, thanks to Foundation of Light.
A training programme run by the charity Back in the Game has helped four people find work and three more to move into further education since it began in May.
Twenty-three people enrolled on the course, funded by landlord Isos Housing, and 17 completed it.
Melanie Wilson lost her job as an early years practitioner at Christmas.
The 27-year-old, who plays football for Boldon Ladies club, is now set to start a degree in childhood studies at Sunderland University, and plans to follow that with a postgraduate teaching certificate. “This has completely changed my life, especially the work experience I did with the Pit Stop Programme at the Foundation,” said Melanie, of South Shields.
“Working with teenagers who have been excluded or expelled from school was something I never thought I’d enjoy.
“But I loved it, and it has fuelled my ambition to become a teacher.”
Tony McPherson has found work as a warehouseman with City Link since finishing.
The 20-year-old was out of work for more than a year before securing the position.
“This is fantastic for me. I can’t believe it.
“I am so much looking forward to working again and regaining a bit more independence,” said Tony, also of South Shields.
Isos invested £50,000 in Foundation of Light initiatives to help North-East adults and families realise their potential.
Anyone interested in the Back in the Game or Family Learning courses, which also run on Wearside, should contact their local Job Centre or the Foundation of Light on 551 5319.