Sport scheme helps young people find work

A scheme which uses sport to tackle unemployment among young people in the Tees Valley has been boosted by a grant of more than £173,000.

Sport Works is one of three projects across the North East to receive a share of £746,506 from the Big Lottery Fund's Reaching Communities programme.

The scheme aims to improve job prospects for young people with disabilities and those who are not in employment, education or training.

The award will be used to provide training for disadvantaged young people.

Among the other organisations to receive funding is Derwentside MIND.

The money will be used to improve the support available to people with mental health problems in and around Stanley.

The North East Prison After Care Society (NEPACS) has also received a grant of £300,000 to help improve contact services for children and families of prisoners.

"Whilst the Tees Valley has some of the highest unemployment rates nationally, it is also home to some of the largest and most successful international companies.

"Through this project, learners will not only develop great skills and achieve nationally recognised qualifications, they will also come in regular contact with employers and have the opportunity to bridge that difficult gap between education and employment".

– Neil Cameron, Sport Works managing director

"We've seen from the Olympics how people can achieve great things from sport and how it can inspire a generation. It's not just the physical activity which is worthwhile in itself, but the qualifications and skills that will be gained from the Sport Works project that will enable the young participants have a brighter future.

"We are very pleased to make these grants as the key aim of our Reaching Communities programme is to help people most in need."

– James Turner, Big Lottery Fund head of North East region