Dozens of disadvantaged children in Newcastle’s West End are celebrating after their holiday club secured almost £3,000 in funding so that it can continue to run during the October half term.

The Mercy Hub charity set up the club during the summer holidays to provide a range of free activities for young people in the city centre.

Around 50 families took part in activities such as cooking classes, craft sessions and film making.

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Now, The Mercy Hub - which is part of St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle - has secured a £2,991 grant from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund to enable the holiday club to run this October half term.

The funding will also help the charity act on any areas where families might need additional support.

Ruth Corless, trustee of The Mercy Project, said: “We look to engage our young people in fun and meaningful activities which not only give them practical and useful new skills, but also develop help to their confidence and self-esteem.

“They also give families peace of mind that their children are spending their time somewhere safe and are productively occupied when, in the present circumstances, there might not be many other options available.

“This approach helps us develop positive relationships with the whole family and so identify areas of additional support that they might benefit from receiving more easily.

“Receiving Newcastle Building Society’s generous support has given us the security we need to be able to plan a full programme of activities which will deliver both short and long-term benefits to everyone that we reach.”

Set up three years ago, the Mercy Hub is a volunteer-led scheme that aims to help people access support services, receive advice and learn new skills.

Samantha Martlew, manager at Newcastle Building Society's West Denton branch, said: “To help communities recover from the impact of the pandemic, we’ve focused our latest round of community grants on a wide range of initiatives which help tackle complex issues around employability, food poverty and debt.

"The Mercy Hub holiday club does a great job engaging families, providing them with valuable support and keeping kids entertained.”

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