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£50,000 grant funding to help communities recover from impact of pandemic

Date published: 24 August 2021

Read time: 3 minutes

Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation logo

Charities helping hundreds of people across the North East and Cumbria have received a major funding boost after Newcastle Building Society announced details of the latest round of grants distributed through its Community Fund.

Fifteen organisations tackling issues around employability, food poverty and debt have been awarded a total of £50,512 from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which provides grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society's branch network.

Grants ranging from £2,000 to £4,000 have been made to groups including Coatham House in Redcar, the International Community Organisation of Sunderland and South Tyneside Churches KEY Project.

Other groups to receive funding include Auckland Youth and Community Centre in Bishop Auckland and the Billingham and Stockton Borough Foodbank.

Andrew Haigh, Newcastle Building Society’s chief executive, said: “Our communities have faced unprecedented challenges over the past 18 months and although the picture is improving for many people, the need to support the charities and groups that help so many in our region is as vital as ever.

“The issues around employability, food poverty and debt can have serious implications for families anywhere. As a member-owned organisation, with deep roots in our communities, I’m proud we’re able to make a substantial funding award through our Community Fund and focus on the brilliant local organisations who deliver significant support and long-term solutions to families across our region.”

Other charities receiving funding include Gateshead-based Regal Respite, North Tyneside Disability Forum, Carlisle Key in Cumbria and South-Tyneside-based Churches Together.

Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has also contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Prince’s Trust. The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.

Su Legg, senior philanthropy advisor at the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged charitable organisations, especially their ability to fundraise for their running costs whilst demand on their services has never been greater. With this in mind, we’ve worked with Newcastle Building Society to pinpoint where best to focus support from its fund at the Community Foundation and, armed with the understanding of the most pressing issues within the communities it serves, this year we’ve focussed vital support to boost employability opportunities – especially affecting young people; address issues linked to debt, and offer support to relieve the increase in food poverty in our region.”