Sunderland employment programmes win grants of almost £80,000 from Virgin Money Foundation

David Mithcell of Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project.
David Mithcell of Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project.

Two groups which help young people in Sunderland have been given a funding boost of almost £80,000.

The organisations receiving funding in Sunderland are Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project, which is being handed £35,258, and Parker Trust, an employment programme for care leavers in the city which is to get £39,715.

It comes as the Virgin Money Foundation announced a new round of grants from its North East Fund, awarding £382,109 to benefit charities across the region.

Ten different charities from across the North East will benefit from the new grants, with funding to support a variety of different projects, many of which are focused on generating youth employment.

David Mitchell, of Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project, said: “Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project are thrilled to hear that we have been awarded a much needed grant to support the young people of Sunderland who are currently out of employment.

“We know that there are still many young people relying on Universal Credit either for sole income or to supplement low wages due to an increased use of zero-hour contracts.

“The fact that Virgin Money Foundation have recognised this and awarded a grant from the North East Fund for a second consecutive year is great news for the young people that we help to support.

“This funding will allow us to spend the necessary time working one to one with young people in a relaxed and informal setting to help them eliminate barriers that are preventing them from achieving their dream job.

“We shall have a full time careers worker in place to help identify training courses, volunteering opportunities and job vacancies as we help ensure young people can sustain their employment.”

Nancy Doyle-Hall, executive director of The Virgin Money Foundation, said: “What a great way to kick-off 2019 by announcing our latest round of North East grants.

“Many of the new grants are focused on empowering young people across the region in their quest for employment, which will help to make a real difference to communities across the North East.”

The latest grants bring the total level of awards made by The Virgin Money Foundation to over £6.8million since it launched in August 2015.

The Virgin Money Foundation offers additional support to charities beyond grant awards.

Each successful charity will also be able to take advantage of pro-bono support, training or mentoring from colleagues at Virgin Money.

Charities benefit from the expertise that this opportunity presents, as it enables them to fill skills gaps they may have in a particular area.