Gateshead Council learningSkills were the managing agent for the Community Grants Project in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland from December 2019 to July 2021. We represented the 6 local authorities with a combined contract value of just under £1 million. We supported delivery to over 700 individuals, with multiple and complex needs and challenging barriers to learning and progression. We supported 55 community and Third Sector organisations with grant funding to deliver innovative and diverse projects, alongside additional capacity building funding enabling them to grow their organisation and aid their COVID response and recovery. Out of the 714 project participants (all 16+, long term unemployed/inactive at the time of enrolment), 87% succeeded in their programme with 46% progressing into employment or further learning. This was achieved despite COVID restrictions, via developing digital delivery and new ways of working being quickly implemented by organisations. We provided extensive support to grant recipients to allow them to remain on track and meet outcomes for their learners, including funding to provide devices to learners to enable remote engagement.
We are excited to announce we are awaiting the outcome of a bid to deliver LA6 Community Grants from January 2022 to March 2023. If we are successful in this bid we will release a call for applications for grant funding (up to £20k) from Third Sector organisations to deliver small projects that mobilise disadvantaged or excluded individuals to enable their progress towards further education and employment. For more information, please see our website: www.esfcommunitygrants.weebly.com