The NTCA Small Grant Programme, managed by Rocket Science, has provided grants to 16 community-based projects to engage and support economically inactive residents across the North of Tyne area.  

The projects, aimed at fostering community engagement, are uniquely designed to support residents on their path to employment. 

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) recognises the important work community-led organisations do to help residents who are not currently accessing mainstream employment provision. The Small Grant Programme facilitates locally led community-based activity to engage and support economically inactive residents. It aims to move them towards mainstream or existing employment support services or provide added value community-based support.  

The Programme adds valuable additional capacity within current partnership structures and within small voluntary sector organisations.  Working closely with the Employment Partnerships projects are part of a vast network of employability and skills providers all working together to support local residents in their search for good quality and meaningful employment.  

This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  

Organisations and activities funded are: 


Action Foundation logo   Action Foundation

Action Foundation will work across the North of Tyne area providing support for asylum seekers and refugees.

During an intensive six-week programme participants will be provided with tailored support to engage them with work-related activity and prepare them for mainstream employability support.

Support is coordinated by an Employment Advisor who provides face-to-face trauma informed casework.  

At the end of the six weeks participants can expect to have;

  • a record of progress,
  • a CV,
  • volunteering experience,
  • a referee,
  • and a plan to navigate the system.  


Anxious Minds logo   Anxious Minds

The Stepping Stones project offers mental health support to participants in North Tyneside.

Over the course of 6 week programme participants will cultivate essential skills that foster greater independence.

Key focus areas encompass;

  • enhancing self-confidence,
  • managing anxiety,
  • bolstering motivation,
  • refining goal setting skills,
  • mastering time management,
  • and promoting health and fitness.

Additionally, practical life skills will be addressed to ensure a comprehensive development experience.


Family Gateway logo    Family Gateway

Family Gateway working in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation will deliver the United for Opportunity Programme to young people aged 16-24 living in Howdon including those transitioning from the care system. The project will empower participants to raise their own aspirations and identify next steps that spark their passion.  

Throughout the programme, participants will be equipped with the skills, confidence and experience needed to pursue their goals. Participants, along with their dedicated tutor, will co-produce a twelve-week course (4 hrs per week) of comprehensive activities including;

  • sport and fitness sessions,
  • literacy and numeracy development,
  • employability and ICT training,
  • health and nutrition sessions,
  • and outreach programmes to develop an understanding of local labour market requirements.

The programme will be delivered at Family Gateway’s Howdon Community Hub; a venue that facilitates direct and bespoke impact within the community of Howdon. 


Justice Prince CIC logo    Justice Prince CIC 

ABLE (Action Based Learning Experience) is piloting an action-based learning approach in a community context to people living in and around the Longbenton area / northwest North Tyneside.

It will engage and support economically inactive people of working age in real life community-based activity to;

  • increase soft skills,
  • build confidence,
  • increase social inclusion,
  • and reduce barriers to support progression to mainstream employment support.

Participants will meet regularly with their Key Worker, they will review progress of their agreed community action-based work experience or volunteering project, they will be referred to specialist support meet wider identified needs.  


Mortal Fools logo    Mortal Fools 

Award winning creative learning company Mortal Fools are delivering two programmes at YMCA Northumberland in Ashington, in partnership with The Princes Trust targeting 16-30 year olds living in Ashington  and wider Northumberland. 

CONNECT: Future Ready will be an employability, youth leadership intervention programme piloted over 12 weeks. 

CONNECT: Creative Futures will be an 8 week long creative employability intervention programme for young people interested in working in creative industries in Northumberland, with the opportunity to achieve an Arts Award qualification. 


Newcastle Carers Logo    Newcastle Carers

Newcastle Carers Carer Information and Advice Worker will offer one-to-one support to carers living in Newcastle who are not currently accessing employment support.

After an initial assessment, carers will have a tailor-made support plan to work towards addressing the issues they face. This plan will be reviewed and adapted according to their needs throughout their engagement on the project to ensure they are nurtured to thrive.

Carers will also have the opportunity to take part in fun and engaging group activities to help build confidence, reduce isolation, and encourage peer support. 


North Tyneside Carers Centre logo   North Tyneside Carers’ Centre 

North Tyneside Carers’ Centre will provide intensive and carer-specific employability support, to young adult carers (aged 16 to 25 years) across North Tyneside.

The support will focus on overcoming the unique barriers that young adult carers face and equip them with the life skills, confidence, and empowerment needed to pursue their aspirations.

In addition to offering one to one support, young adult carers will have the opportunity to attend 4 training workshops over the course of the project and monthly peer support groups in their local area. 


North Tyneside Disability Forum logo    North Tyneside Disability Forum Ltd 

This project ‘Taking Action’ has been designed with input from stakeholders to improve the consideration of support needs for North Tyneside Disability Forum learners, aiming to address and eliminate barriers to learning and employment.

ACTION Training will provide support for people living in North Tyneside who face additional barriers and disadvantage, as a result of disability, ill health and/or vulnerability.

Participants will receive 30 hours of classroom and on site learning incorporating the key ingredients of:

  • attitude,
  • communication,
  • teamwork,
  • information,
  • observation,
  • and numbers. 

ACTION: Attitude, Communication, Teamwork, Information, Observation, Numbers

Ouseburn Farm logo   Ouseburn Farm Charity Ltd 

Supported volunteering at Ouseburn Farm will pilot a new model of supported volunteering, targeted at those with mild or moderate learning difficulties, anxiety or mental health issues living in Newcastle.

Over 8 weeks, participants will attend Ouseburn farm for 10 hours per week. With the support of a dedicated mentor as well as taking part in volunteering activities and receiving job search support, they will also attend 2 skills-based workshops at the farm each week.

The workshops will cover;

  • teamwork and communication,
  • problem solving,
  • health and self-care,
  • and basic digital skills.


Slix Teen logo     People and Drugs (Silx Teen Bar) 

Silx Employability Project provide support to young people aged 16-24 living in the Blyth area who are furthest away from the job market.

They will offer a provision that is unconditional in support, flexible and engaging, that encourages involvement and leads to progression into education and employment.  One-to-one support is offered with access to the project 3 days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12 to 3 pm, as well as information, advice, and guidance through Digital Platforms.

The project promotes socialisation and relationship development among young people by encouraging them to utilise the in-house activities, as well as free food and refreshments that are available. 


Riverside Health Project logo   Riverside Community Health Project 

Moving Forward will offer support to those who are far from employment and living in Elswick and Benwell and Scotswood wards in Newcastle.

They will focus their support in particular to parents of young children, aiming to reduce the barrier of inadequate crèche provision. Participants will receive;

  • 1 to 1 support,
  • take part in facilitated group,
  • and peer support.

A crèche will be provided at the Carnegie Building to enable parents of young children to identify their goals and then explore how to meet them. 


Sport Works logo    SportWorks 

SportWorks Aspire will support disengaged young people 16-24years living in the East End of Newcastle who are economically inactive.

The project aims to raise aspirations and support young people by boosting their confidence and self-esteem so that they become actively ready for the next steps towards looking for work. Participants will engage in customised informal classroom and physical activity sessions over a 12-week period, with pastoral support available for those needing extra assistance.

They will also work towards developing their key skills required to be a coach or a leader, gaining a core skill set through sport and physical activity. 


The Angelou Centre logo    The Angelou Centre 

The Angelou Centre enterprise project will enhance employability skills, increase confidence, and improve wellbeing for black and minoritised women, most of whom are survivors of violence and abuse, living in Newcastle and surrounding areas.

In groups of 15 women, they will participate in Entrepreneur sessions structured across 3 stages from planning to receiving tailored support for their business idea. This will be followed by advancing their enterprise through one-to-one practical mentoring.

Weekly wellbeing activities to accommodate all abilities and choice will also be available. 


The Chinese Centre logo    The Chinese Centre

RISE @ Truly Home is a transformative project dedicated to supporting Refugees Into Sustainable Employment in Newcastle.

Our mission is to clear: to establish a dynamic learning community that empowers economically inactive individuals, especially BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) refugees and migrants.

Our approach includes;

  • personalized learning plans,
  • ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) for work programme,
  • English conversation practice,
  • digital skills support,
  • 1 to 1 mentoring,
  • volunteering,
  • and monthly celebrations.

We aim to build confidence and promote proactive job-seeking behaviours among participants, taking a step closer to employment. 


Junction 42 Foundation     The Junction 42 Foundation

Work Out is a programme run by Junction 42, its aim is to move those living in the North of Tyne, over the age of 18 with a conviction, closer to the workplace by using;

  • 1 to 1 mentoring,
  • group work,
  • and volunteering placements.

The project focusses on building the individuals citizenship (ID, bank account, registered health services) and providing navigation support to increase understanding of what is available and help them to overcome any barriers these services and support. 


YMCA Newcastle logo     YMCA Newcastle 

Able Y’s will engage people living in Newcastle with learning difficulties and disabilities in activities that will motivate and inspire them to identify and explore opportunities to support personal progression including volunteering opportunities.

As well as receiving one to one support, each individual will be supported for 26 weeks participating in 2 x 2 hour sessions tailored to their need each week. 


For further information about the NTCA Small Grant Programme please contact Hazel Lapidaki, Project Manager, North of Tyne Combined Authority  email:

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