Mark Adair

North Tyneside shows why its fun to stay at the YMCA

A new training hub has been created in North Tyneside, providing courses in social care, catering and hospitality for people who are currently unemployed.

YMCA North Tyneside’s Employment and Skills Academy in North Shields is equipped with a café and kitchen where people can gain work experience, and a living space fitted with mobility aids, so people can learn about working in a social care environment.

Funding from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (North East LEP) Local Growth Fund VCSE Capital Grant programme enabled the conversion of YMCA North Tyneside’s existing space into this new hub.

As Darren Mayne, YMCA North Tyneside’s Head of Enterprise and Commerce explains, four people have already gone on to secure jobs in the YMCA North Tyneside café and building, after completing training, “The creation of our new training hub means that we can now work in partnership with North Tyneside Council to offer training, free of charge, to people who are seeking work.”

Donna Brown, who now has a job in the YMCA North Tyneside gym, said: “Looking back, I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to do the course. If I hadn’t done it, I’d have been stuck in a rut and unemployed, doubting myself with no motivation to work.”

Claire Johnson, who now works as a café assistant, said: “I am so glad I came on the course now as I was hesitant at first but I’ve loved every minute of it. I love working in the cafe, the staff are all lovely and make you welcome.”

The Local Growth Fund VCSE Capital Grant programme also supported the refurbishment of the YMCA’s Young People’s Hub, which is now a welcoming space for people to drop in and access computers and AV equipment.

Carol Botten, North East LEP board member and CEO of VONNE (Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East), said: “Over the last year we’ve seen the hub develop and it’s wonderful to hear that people are already benefiting from it and going on to secure roles in catering and hospitality.

Dean Titterton, Chief Executive at YMCA North Tyneside, added: “Part of our role here in North Tyneside is giving people the opportunity to access training that will help them gain new skills and hopefully progress on to employment.

“We can now see this training in action, and look forward to supporting many more people to gain work in catering, hospitality and social care.”

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