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249,746 reasons to say thank you!

Byline: DARREN KELSO

A CHARITABLE foundation has announced a new wave of grants from its North East fund - with charities in the region benefitting to the tune of almost a quarter of a million pounds.

The Virgin Money Foundation has awarded PS249,746 to six different charities, supporting a range of different projects.

One of those charities is Nacro Homes Agency, a social lettings agency which specialises in securing good quality homes for people who are either homeless or have insecure housing.

The service operates across Teesside, County Durham and Sunderland, and the PS42,409 will fund the expansion of the social lettings scheme into North Tyneside, focused on vulnerable women.

Paul Phillips, Nacro's head of property and asset management, said: "This grant is hugely important in helping us develop new services for vulnerable people in North Tyneside.

"It will allow us to build on the success we have already achieved in the North East through previously Virgin Money Foundation funding and support."

An award of PS44,686 has been made to Future Regeneration of Grangetown in Middlesbrough, where the United Social Club was once at the heart of the community. The building and surrounding shops, however, have fallen into disrepair.

With funding of over PS1.5m from the Big Lottery and Power to Change, the building and shops are being brought back as a multiuse community resource. The award from the Virgin Money Foundation will support the work of community enterprise manager Lynn Pallister.

Lynn, said: "The strength of support from the Virgin Money Foundation, the community and our partners has been overwhelming.

"Having an affordable, spacious and accessible community hub within the heart of Grangetown will mean for the first time we can address a wide range of social, economic and physical problems under one roof."

Durham secures accommodation for vulnerable young people across County Durham, and an award of PS41,223 will enable the charity to grow its lettings programme from 30 to 100 properties. Peter Richards, chief executive of the social lettings agency, said: "The grant will allow us to grow to the point of independent financial sustainability, ensuring that going forward we have a good supply of well-maintained properties for homeless and disadvantaged young people in County Durham."

The other charities benefitting from grants are Action Foundation, which received PS49,768 to help its work providing accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees, the Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (PS22,000) to fund an outwards bounds centre and the North East Autism Society (PS49,660) to support an employment programme for young people with autism in East Durham.

Nancy Doyle-Hall, executive director of the Virgin Money Foundation, said: "Our North East Fund supports community regeneration by backing the people who can make big changes happen locally. The new awards will make a real difference in the North East neighbourhoods that need it most.

"The 2018 round of the North East Fund remains open for applications until 10 November, so we'd encourage community organisations looking to make a positive difference in their community to apply for funding."

Charities wishing to apply to the North East Fund should contact info@virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk or visit virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk for more information.

A client being helped by Nacro to find accommodation

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Lynn Pallister at the Future Regeneration of Grangetown site
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 30, 2018
Words:552
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