The first four trainees to complete a year's training and work experience with the Pride in Cleadon Park Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) have left the project.
Trainees have been gaining a reputation on the estate for their high quality work improving gardens and laying hard standings for local residents. They work with a trainer assessor to redevelop gardens, lay paved areas, turf, gravel and hard standings for cars so gardens can be enjoyed and maintained by residents.
The project recruits long term unemployed people from the local area to get them back into the labour market, whilst dealing with one of the main concerns of local residents - overgrown and uncared for gardens. It is an important part of the creation of a better environment on the estate, and a contribution to the wider regeneration project which is getting underway on the estate.
At a presentation at Cleadon Park Housing Office, local Councillor Jim Foreman presented the trainees with their record of achievement portfolios and wished them all the best for the future. The team are now hoping their recent work experience and glowing references will help them find work in the long term.
Councillor Foreman said: "The trainees have developed a reputation around the estate as a hard working team producing a great finished product. Their workmanship has been tremendous."
Over the last year the project has transformed more than 30 properties on the Cleadon Park estate, and created an outdoor classroom at Ridgeway JMI school.
The project is funded by South Tyneside Council Neighbourhood Services, Single Regeneration Budget, Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Tyne and Wear Single Pot. European funding has been applied for to extend the scheme for a further year.