National Lottery Reducing Inequalities Funding
At the start of 2023, Catalyst secured almost half a million pounds in National Lottery funding to support the work of the Fairer Stockton-on-Tees framework, which aims to reduce inequalities across the Borough.
This project funding will provide a financial support commitment over the next 3 years to address inequalities by identifying gaps in services, working with VCSE and statutory services to address these gaps and by building volunteer support for individuals not currently accessing services in deprived communities. You can also view other Fairer Stockton project work from Catalyst here.
Outcomes of this project include;
* More people experiencing healthy living – eating healthier food, taking more exercise
* Increased good mental health
* Increased income and reduced poverty in the disadvantaged parts of the Borough
* Increased partnership and collaboration between partner organisations
* Increased commissioning from statutory bodies of VCSE services
* More volunteering in Stockton-on-Tees
These objectives will be achieved via the following initiatives:
Catalyst staff will map existing VCSE services in the Borough which can assist in reducing health and other inequalities. We will identify how services are linked, how referrals are made and where there are gaps that can be addressed by promoting and facilitating partnerships and collaborative working.
1:1 support for VCSE organisations
We will provide direct support to VCSE organisations to help them to take advantage of the opportunities identified in order to fill gaps in services, either by accessing charitable funding sources or by obtaining contracts from statutory bodies. This will include, in time, access to small grants to expand delivery of services.
Peer support and mentoring
Catalyst will recruit and deploy volunteers to support vulnerable individuals and households. We have just been accredited with the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ standard and we will use our experience to recruit, induct and train volunteers effectively and enthusiastically. Where possible, we will recruit volunteers with lived experience of the kinds of issues faced by the households identified through this project. The volunteers will support vulnerable individuals to access services for the first time, for example accompanying them to meetings, accessing digital information and support and filling in forms.
Co-funding twelve delivery partners to reduce inequalities
The Lottery approved £156,000 to fund activities with 12 existing VCSE partners to deliver projects which reduce inequalities by expanding and developing their services. These projects will address the health needs identified in the Fairer Stockton-on-Tees Framework. These providers will be able to develop closer links with statutory providers, with the aim of enabling them to be commissioned to deliver services in the longer term. In addition, Catalyst is committed to supporting all VCSE organisations with 1:1 support and the deployment of volunteers, as outlined in this proposal.
The following organisations were successful in their bids to deliver on these aims and their services cover a wide range of the needs identified in the Fairer Stockton-on-Tees framework.
CFM Counselling will offer trauma counselling to benefit recipients, and will use the services of an interpreter to support those who can’t speak English, including the use of sign language. They will also offer high quality counselling training to anyone working directly with people in need.
Nite Light CIC
Nite Light currently run a free market stall on Stockton High Street one day per month, providing free food, a hot meal, clothing, hygiene essentials and small household items to those in need. As well as providing the basic essentials, they offer emotional support and referrals to other organisations for further support. Lottery funding will allow Nite Light to run an additional stall each month.
Stockton and District Information and Advice Service SDAIS (CAB)
SDAIS will employ a part time Home Adviser who would provide welfare advice to people who are unable to access their service through any other channels. Advice will focus on income maximisation and the prevention of poverty, as well as developing future external links of support and advice for the individual.
Sprouts Community Food Charity
Sprouts are expanding their capacity via a new site at Victoria Park, Thornaby. The funding will contribute to a café and training kitchen utilising surplus food and veg from their community garden, addressing health inequalities and showing people how to eat well to stay well. They will also be running the community shop from a building on the site, and in addition to food, this will have the space to take donations of clothes, shoes, toys, kitchen equipment, bedding etc .
‘We are TS18’ is a series of dance sessions designed for cohorts of 15 young people from the disadvantaged TS18 postcode. The lottery funding will enable Arc to offer their sessions to more young people from deprived backgrounds. The groups will take part in regular dance sessions with artists Urban Kaos at ARC Stockton. Each session includes snacks and a nutritious meal, alongside physical dance activity. At the end of each six-week block, friends and family are invited to come and see what the young people have created to celebrate their achievements.
Billingham Environmental Link Programme BELP
This funding will pay for a part-time support worker to engage with the community through gardening in the disadvantaged ‘Clarences’ area, over a 12-month period as part of their vision of feeding and training the community. People will have the opportunity and the support needed to take on a small allotment, or growing box, with a key focus being on well-being, advice, guidance and training as well as access to our long-standing successful work club. Excess produce from the project will be provided free of any charge to local community pantries and foodbanks etc.
Moneywise – Tees Credit Union
Moneywise will appoint a part time Volunteer Support Officer (VSO) who will recruit, train and support volunteers to open collection points across the Stockton Borough. This will enable Tees Credit Union to move into new geographical areas, as well as developing pre-existing areas, ensuring residents are able to access TCU services in their local community. Volunteers will be trained in promoting local community collection points, enabling the initiative to continue in the longer term.
Pioneering Care Partnership
PCP will target residents of the disadvantaged Stockton Town Centre Ward, reaching the most deprived and underrepresented groups such as unpaid carers, BAME and asylum seekers and refugees. PCP will help improve the health and wellbeing of residents by providing group sessions which will be tailored to meet the requirements each group. These will concentrate on the health outcomes highlighted in the Framework which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis and will include: cooking on a budget, physical activities on a budget, stress management, mindfulness and healthy eating.
Refugee Futures will employ a part-time support worker for 2 days a week to work alongside the Development Manager who has piloted a project to provide tailored, high-quality volunteering opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers. As a result, they will develop skills and confidence enabling them to be better equipped to gain employment in the future helping them integrate, become more independent and healthier.
Bridges Family and Carers Service
This project will provide access to an advocacy service for disadvantaged and hard to engage groups in Stockton, providing an effective advocate for groups whose behaviour is often seen but whose voice is rarely heard. The focus will be on reducing barriers to individuals accessing effective health services in the Central Stockton Ward, aimed at those participating in high-risk behaviours and substance users, whether currently engaged with commissioned services or not. The project would support these groups with access to a member of staff for 7 hours per week for 42 weeks over the course of one year (including some evenings and weekends).
BCT will continue to expand their work within some of the most deprived areas in the Borough, such as Billingham South and the Clarences to provide additional capacity where there are identified needs. BCT aim to trial new ways of working to engage children and young people through sporting activities, physical activity sessions, primary after school clubs and traditional youth clubs. BCT’s core aims are to improve children and young people’s confidence, motivation, resilience and aspirations so that they achieve in school and in life. This project will enable BCT to work in areas such as the Clarences where there are extreme challenges within the local area and where such services for children and young people are very limited.
Starfish will expand their work with people that are lonely, isolated and disconnected, connecting them to their local community via their social hub, and supporting them to engage in meaningful activities which develop their skills and help them to overcome or improve their life situations. Funding will allow them to run extra sessions to set up new activities within their community hub on Yarm Road, which will give people a safe, non-judgemental space where they can learn or re-learn how to engage socially, make safe friendships and seek support from others who have been on similar journeys.
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