How a £10,000 grant has been improving lives in a former mining community

A regeneration trust says it is proud of the work being done by a community group and will continue to support it.

By Sue Kirby
Tuesday, 21 May, 2019, 06:00
Chairman of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Peter McNestry.

The Boldon Community Association can now deliver a range of activities for the isolated and disabled thanks to an almost £10,000 boost.

The association was granted £9,939 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme, delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

People taking part in activities at the Boldon Community Association.

And, the activities are already proving very popular within the community.

A range of weekly activities for people with disabilities, dementia and those who are lonely or isolated now take place including zumba, staying active seated exercise, disability walking football, walking football, badminton/table tennis and a monthly social activity.

Chairman of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Peter McNestry, said: “Recent research has told us that the health and wellbeing of people living within coalfield communities typically scores lower than average when compared with the rest of the country.

“So, it is extremely reassuring that Boldon Community Association is delivering these activities to improve the livelihoods of people who may not have access to the help they require.

“We are extremely proud that our funding and practical support is being used to help promote the inclusion of the most disadvantaged people in the local community.”

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As the Boldon Community Association has become a member of Coalfield Community Investment Programme it will continue to be supported by the trust and will receive bespoke practical support.

Manager at Boldon Community Association, Sue Topping, said: “Initiatives such as these are very important as they help to provide safe and secure spaces for people who may often struggle in social situations.

“Thanks to the practical support and funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, we will continue to deliver these activities for our community, benefiting those who come together and interact with one another.

“Working in this way means we can provide a space for people to meet regardless of their disability, illness or other personal circumstances, which helps to build confidence, create friendships and relationships that will improve their way of life going forward.”

The Coalfields Community Investment Programme supports organisations and programmes of activity that meet with three key criteria, to address skills, employment or health and wellbeing.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was established in 1999 and is the only organisation dedicated to supporting former mining towns and villages.

Over the years more than 2million people have benefited from support delivered by the organisation. More than 25,500 people have been supported into work, 5,500 jobs have been created or safeguarded, 1.3million people have received the necessary support to help improve their skills and gain qualifications and over 250,000 people have participated in activities that have improved their health.