Tyne Group subsidiaries provide best value April 2013
Recent Freedom of Information requests to local authorities in our area reveal the cost of supported housing and direct access housing for homeless people varies widely between providers.
In one local authority the average cost of direct access hostel provision, with 24 hour 2 person waking cover is £8,504 per bedspace per year. However Under the Bridge Charity delivers this very service for £7,023 per bedspace per year. All the services have been quality assessed by the local authority and found to be very satisfactory.
More staggeringly, in the same local authority, shared housing schemes and clusters/blocks of flats with on-site staffing (excluding 24 hour staffed direct access provision) cost an average of £6,957 per bedspace per year. Byker Bridge Housing and Support delivers this service for £3,298, less than half the average cost. If all the providers of this sort of supported accommodation were paid at the same level as Byker Bridge Housing and Support for similar services, the council concerned would save £2.5m per year.
Soroptimist International 24th April 2013
Newcastle Soroptimists have been supporting ‘Under the Bridge Charity’ for many years and this cheque presentation for £1,000 was a welcome gift to support homeless people. President Kath Shearer was at the Joseph Cowen Healthcare Centre in Byker to hand over the cheque to Lynda Smith, Centre Manager and Bill Brown, Chairman. Members of Soroptimist International of Newcastle upon Tyne regularly donate clothing, toiletries, and beverages.
Cheque presented Wednesday 24 April 2013.
Streetwise Opera April 2013
Streetwise Operas visit to London.
Byker Boat June 2012
At the end of last year Residents of Byker Bridge were given the opportunity to take part in something extra-ordinary, to build a boat in Byker, but not only that, to do it in a Church. This was organised by Alex Finnegan, who runs the Puppet Ship Community Interest Company, as he secured funding from Newcastle Science City Community Science Team, to built the boat, and met David Humes of Byker Community Centre, who suggested that it could be built in St Michael’s Church. The aim was not only to end up with a boat that can hopefully be used by the local community, but to engage people who may normally be socially excluded, and communicate key science themes and skills that may help them back into employment, education or training. The project started mainly in January 2012, where one afternoon a week, or more at times, residents went to St Michaels to help in building the boat. Part of the excitement was the fact that not many people can say that they have built a boat, and also that it was done from scratch. Over the weeks, we learnt how to set up the mold for the boat, ensure that it was straight by the use of a laser light and string, and then with arrival of the wood, we learnt to use jigsaws to cut out the different sections/planks of the boat, how to mix the glue, and also filler for filling in the odd gap! From sanding, gluing, filling, painting, clamping, you name it we did it. Not only did myself and other residents learn new skills and techniques, but over the months, it was plain to see that everyone’s confidence and self esteem greatly improved. What was also great was that as the word spread, local members of the community popped in to see the boat and how we were progressing, and some even joined in on different days. The decision to call it Byker Belle was made jointly between all the people involved, and when deciding what colour to paint it, one of the residents suggested Byker colours, so Alex approached John Lee CEO of Your Homes Newcastle, and asked if we could have some Byker paint, to which he thankfully said yes.
This has to be one of the most amazing experiences that I certainly have ever had the chance to be part of, and I am sure the other residents will agree to that too. Not only has it filled them with pride when it was launched on the 31st May 2012 and we rowed it on the Tyne, but also the skills and knowledge that they have gained through taking part in this will help in other aspects of life, be it gaining employment, having the confidence to push yourself to do things when previously you might have said “I can’t do that, ” but now they know that actually they can, or to go on to further training. It has been an amazing accomplishment for the residents that took part, and that is down to the creative thinking and ways of Alex Finnegan in making learning and developing skills, fun and interesting, and in a way where people are told its ok to make a mistake, and to learn at their own pace, and do things that they are comfortable in doing.
What next??? Dependant on funding, the plan is to try and build another Byker boat, the aim being to hopefully bring back racing on the Tyne.
Please check out http://www.puppetship.com/ for more information.
Centre For Economic Strategies Award August 2011
Tyne Housing Association Ltd received a commendation award from Centre For Economic Strategies (CLES). The CLES Commendations
are nominated by CLES staff and highlight initiatives that have achieved positive local change. This year’s commendations are focused on projects creating resilient
places; having a significant impact on beneficiaries; tackling issues in an interesting and/or innovative way; dealing with a particularly difficult or pertinent
regeneration/economic development challenge; and bringing about transformational change.
Tyne Housing Association received the commendation for highlighting how assets can be developed for community benefit, following the development of a range of our
projects in recent years including the conversion and continued development of St Silas Church into a multi-purpose community centre, office complex and housing;
the development of the Beavans Building into sustainable accommodation, the contribution of Ouseburn Farm to support community development and training; and the
conversion of a local pub into a healthcare centre.
Streetwise May 2011
Streetwise Opera run weekly workshops with participants from Byker Bridge Housing and Supprt at St Silas Church on Wednesdays
from 3.15 pm till 4.45pm. The workshops are an opportunity to sing and act in a safe environment and welcoming environment. Through these sessions friendships
are forged and confidence is built. The workshops are led by professional singers and a support worker from Byker Bridge is always present to encourage participants
deal with any issues that may arise.
Streetwise Opera provides participants with regular opportunities to perform in public and to go on theatre trips. Recently the group made a short film about the
Hartlepool Monkey with other Streetwise Opera groups from the North East, all the music was written by professional composers and the film were produced by professional
film makers. This culminated in a premiere in London where all the groups from around the country who had also made short films as part of the Fables project performed,
and the films were screened as part of the Spitalfields music festival. This event had very good reviews from the national press and the group are still performing this
with screenings of the films locally, and Fables is being shown at film festivals internationally. Streetwise Opera also have opportunities for participants to go on work
placements giving them the chance to gain valuable work experience.
Animals return to the farmNovember 2010
Tyne Housing Association, based at the nearby St Silas church building.
Residents from Byker Bridge Housing and Support are given training and therapeutic work at the farm, which will now supply the hostel with fresh eggs.
“The old Byker Farm was a major draw which brought people into the valley and the return of the animals to the new farm is a day for which we have been
waiting for a long time,” said Mr Condie.
Opening of BeavansNovember 2009
On the 5th November 2009 Byker Bridge Housing Association opened the Beavan's building, a 30 flat development in Byker, Newcastle.
The project, designed by Gosforth-based Anthony Keith Architects, is situated in the landmark former Beavan's department store.
Newcastle City Council leader John Shipley carried out the opening ceremony at the development.
Council leader John Shipley said: "Now, more than ever, it is essential to find new uses for exisiting buildings."
"We need to find imaginative solutions such as this scheme and use the city's exisiting building effectively."
"Building like this are at the heart of our local communities and we need to make sure that both the communities and the buildings they live and work in are sustainable."
"We need to bring exisiting buildings up to modern sustainability standardsbeause high standards for new buildings alone will not achieve the Government's carbon reduction targets."