The Northern Rock Foundation has awarded a local charity with a grant of £100,000 to help youth offenders escape a lifetime of criminality.
The Northern Learning Trusts runs the Sandwriter Mentoring Project, which aims to help vulnerable young people improve their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as encouraging them to become more involved in their communities.
The project can currently help around 60 youngsters aged between eight and 18 at any one time, but thanks to the recent cash injection the charity now hopes to extend its business model into Newcastle, Gateshead and Northumberland.
Ian Robson, Young People’s Services Manager for the Northern Learning Trust, said: “This money will be an enormous help to us. It’s very important that we can not only identify youngsters who are mixing with a bad crowd or showing signs of turning to crime but that we can then give them a mentor who will steer them back on the right path.
The grant will be awarded over three years, and will allow the Sandwriter project to re-motivate young people to become involved in something worthwhile, while providing them with an incentive not to reoffend.
Penny Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the Foundation, said: “We strongly support the work done by the Sandwriter Mentoring project in helping prevent youngsters offending and re-offending and we are thrilled that this grant means they can extend their work throughout the North East.”