Residents flock to launch of community project

Residents from Newsham flocked to a family fun day on Saturday to celebrate the launch of a community project.

Newsham Community Matters, led by Northumberland County Council and funded by a £25,000 NE Procurement grant, is striving to improve the lives of people living in the area.

More than 200 residents came along to the pavilion at Newsham to enjoy a children’s parade, face painting, Princess and Pirate fancy dress, treasure hunt and raffles.

They also signed up to activities and courses which have been developed as part of the project, aimed at improving residents’ lives in the future. These will focus on three themes, IT Matters, such as help with job applications and benefit claims; Practical Matters, such as First Aid, tenancy advice and confidence building, and Family Matters, such as cooking on a budget and healthy lifestyle advice. Courses will be held at the Church of Yahweh, St Bede’s Church Hall and The Pavilion and start today (TUES 21st).

Susan Ogle, Housing Operations Manager at Northumberland County Council, said: “It was a fantastic day and was really well supported by the community.

“Having canvassed people’s opinion in the area, on what needed to be done to help tackle things like anti-social behaviour, they responded saying a community project which brought pride back in the area.

“This project is the result of that work with residents. We were delighted with the level of interest and the number of people who signed up to courses and activities.”

Rod Brassington, chief executive at NE Procurement said: “We are very proud to be supporting the Newsham Community Matters project. It is a great initiative which will benefit everyone in the local area and help to bring the whole community together.”

A Community Interest Company, led by tenants and residents, will now be formed to take the project forward.

Other partners involved in the project are Northumbria Police, Community Voluntary Action Blyth Valley (CVABV), Silx Employability Project, Northern Learning Trust, the Army, Northumbria NHS Healthcare Trust, British Red Cross, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Sure Start and Blyth Spartans, who, along with volunteers from the community, will deliver courses and activity sessions.

For more information on courses call 07552260613 or like the Newsham Community Matters page on Facebook.
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