This week Phil has been out with The Big Lottery to find out more about National Lottery awards that have been given to charities in his constituency. Phil visited three projects, Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre, The LADDER Project and DISC.
Newton Aycliffe Youth And Community Centre’s mission is to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of Newton Aycliffe and its surrounding neighbourhood through the provision of recreational and educational activities including the provision of a community building. Phil visited the centre, meeting with Vince Crosby and Beki Metcalfe. He heard how Big Lottery funding was enabling them to invest into their staff and volunteers, helping them win an investors in people award. He saw some of their work in action and learned how developing their staff was also helping to improve their service delivery to the community and overall sustainability.
Phil went on to visit The LADDER centre, meeting with the director, Kath Merrington and other clients and volunteers. The Ferryhill LADDER Centre is a community building brought about by the community for the community. The Centre was opened in December 2002 after 5 years of fund raising. The Centre is a very busy place and consists of two semi detached houses on the Lakes Estate in Ferryhill. They offer courses and employability access to computers and help with CV's, Universal Job Match, information, advice and guidance, children and youth sessions. Kath explained more about the lottery funded scheme ‘Stepping Up’ project. The project which provides support services to disengaged local people and aims to enable those who are long term unemployed and disabled to access opportunities and training to develop their skills and experience.
Finally Phil met Angie Hutchinson, Director of Children and Young People’s Services at DISC, to discover just how successful lottery funded projects have been in improving the lives of local people, and what potential projects are in line for support in the future.
Over the next year DISC will help over 12,000 people to make the changes that will enable them to live independent and fulfilling lives. With a turnover in excess of £18 million and over 400 employees, DISC is one of the largest and most successful home-grown charities operating in the North of England.
Phil said: “I’m delighted to be visiting The Ladder Centre, NAYCC, and DISC today. Spending time with each charity shows the breadth of activities delivered by our charity, voluntary and community sector. It was also good to see how important lottery funding is to these organisations in helping them make a difference in the community”