Teesside jobseekers are getting extra support in their search for work thanks to a new project from a local charity that’s been backed by a four-figure grant from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation.

The Five Lamps Organisation is working with a range of community organisations to identify local people who could benefit from extra employment support and then delivering individualised support packages to them which help them prepare to find the jobs they want.

The Stockton-headquartered charity has so far supported people working towards jobs in the security, cleaning and gaming sectors – and it has made its own commitment to the project by taking on one of the participants as its new IT apprentice.

Five Lamps has used the £3,000 Newcastle Building Society grant to set up and cover the running costs of the new project, and it is hoping to significantly increase the number of local people on the programme this year.

The funding is being provided through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which offers grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network.

The Five Lamps Organisation delivers an integrated range of social, economic and financial inclusion services within which it seeks to transform lives, raise aspiration, remove barriers and offer choice.

Its work is divided across four integrated business divisions, which cover economic development, financial inclusion and housing, youth services and home care, and supports around 25,000 socially and financially excluded people across the North East and North Yorkshire every year.

Nichola Storr, head of business development and assurance at Five Lamps, says: “We take a holistic view of the support that people in our community require, with addressing employability needs being especially important in the challenging cost of living crisis that we’re all currently facing.

“When it comes to finding a job, each person’s support needs are different.  Our new scheme identifies what sort of skills development or training help each individual needs, how it can best be provided and what routes it will open up for them to get into work.

“We’ve had some very good candidates working with us so far who’re on the way to getting where they want to be, and being able to take on a new IT apprentice via the scheme ourselves is a real added bonus.

“We’re pleased with the start we’ve made, but we want to do much more this year and will be looking to increase the number of candidates that we can help to get into work this year.

“The flexibility that this Newcastle Building Society funding provides means we can direct resources towards whatever support we think will best help our service users achieve their job ambitions.”

Stuart Miller, executive director at Newcastle Building Society who recently visited Five Lamps, adds: “The Five Lamps Organisation addresses a huge range of community needs across our area and this latest project is already having a clear positive impact on the prospects of local people.”

Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund at the Community Foundation has also contributed over £2.3m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Prince’s Trust.

The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.