Sunderland and Newcastle are united to help community

GET SHIRTY: Sam McLoughlin of Newcastle United Foundation, Matt Hill of Foundation of Light and Richie Mitchell from Isos.
GET SHIRTY: Sam McLoughlin of Newcastle United Foundation, Matt Hill of Foundation of Light and Richie Mitchell from Isos.
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BLACK Cats and Magpies will go head-to-head on the pitch this Sunday, but the two clubs’ charitable arms are teaming up.

Social landlord Isos Housing has signed up both Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light and the Newcastle United Foundation to help young people across Tyne and Wear into work.

Isos housing community investment manager Richie Mitchell said: “We want to do all we can to help people find work in the communities where we work. In the North East, having the chance to get training at one of the two big football clubs is a great motivator for people – and we know the clubs’ foundations can really deliver results.”

Earlier this year, Isos started working with the Foundation of Light on its ‘Back in the Game’ programme, which provides training for unemployed people, alongside mentoring and football-related fitness work, to get them in the best possible shape to find the job they want.

The programme was targeted at Isos communities in South Tyneside, and of those who took part in the first programme, four have found work, three have gained new qualifications, and other ‘graduates’ have moved on to extra training or further education.

Foundation head of lifelong learning Matt Hill said: “We’re very proud to be able to team up with Isos Housing.

“We have more than a decade’s experience working in partnership with local businesses to achieve what is best for our local community and are sure that this partnership will be a huge success.”

Now Isos has partnered with the Newcastle United Foundation, so more jobseekers can benefit from new skills and mentoring.

Newcastle’s programme targets unemployment in Felling and North Shields – areas which are being targeted for help in the Isos Community Investment Strategy.

The 10-week course looks at developing CVs, mock interviews, job search strategies, nutrition, mental health workshops, team sports and offers continued support form the foundation mentors after the course has finished.

Sam McLoughlin, project manager for community development at the Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are delighted to launch this partnership with Isos Housing and look forward to working with their tenants to promote active and healthy lifestyles, inspire them to reach their potential and ultimately build safe, strong communities”

Isos has a ‘2020 Vision’ focused on becoming the north’s leading housing company by the end of the decade, hence the numbers on the two club shirt, and believes supporting initiatives like those run by the Foundation of Light and the Newcastle United Foundation, is a crucial part of making that a reality.