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Moving On Tyne & Wear

South Tyneside Activity & Updates

December 2020

Christmas is all about being grateful for the things you have, having family and friends around and looking out for those who are not as fortunate as yourselves.

Here at MOTW South Tyneside, we come face to face with those who are not as fortunate as us and who battle with food and fuel poverty on a daily basis.

We put all of the money that we would typically spend on an office Secret Santa together and looked at a local charity who we could support. This year, we decided Emmaus North East would be the charity we support.

Emmaus provides “accommodation for up to 15 formerly homeless people, ready to make a fresh start. As well as a home, we provide work, education and training to help them to gain employment in the future.  Our residents work in a social enterprise undertaking house clearances, recycling furniture and household goods.”

The overall aim and mission of Emmaus is to ‘work together to overcome homelessness and social exclusion while using our voice to achieve social change.’

This Christmas, we donated food and toiletries to their social supermarket, Lucie’s Pantry, which is run by their volunteers.

November 2019

Focusing on diversity

We recently attended an event at Apna Ghar, a South Sheilds based women’s centre. The centre provides support and advice to minority ethnic women in the area.

Apna Ghar hosted an event at their Ocean Road centre to celebrate Diwali. Our team attended their celebrations to learn more about this Hindu festival and celebrate the diversity within our community.

The day was packed with activities, including Dr Shobha Srivastava’s talk about the origins of Diwali.

Our staff work closely with Apna Ghar and raise awareness of how our programme can support some of the centre’s service-users. Thank you to the team for allowing us to spend the morning with them to celebrate and learn more about their facility. We look forward to continuing our relationship together!


6th May 2019

We’ve had another great month at Moving On Tyne & Wear!

This month, we have welcomed 13 people onto the programme and said goodbye to four. Two individuals have moved onto employment, one into self-employment and one into training. This is excellent news and we wish them well in their new roles!

In the community

Olive, our South Tyneside Support Worker, attended the Hebburn Helps grub club on Wednesday and Friday last week.

The club provided 50 hot meals for local children and their parents during the half-term.  Invites are not required and anyone who needs help can get it without question.

There were also fifty packed lunches were given out every day during the week of half term.

Olive mixed in with the parents and gave advice and guidance on the possible opportunities with MOTW South Shields.  A documentary was being made on the project and Olive was able to inform the team of success stories and opportunities within the MOTW programme.

Our groups

Our self-awareness workshop had its last session on Tuesday. We had some really amazing results and the participants feedback included:

‘The group has been great, I’m not sure how you could improve, they have been great, thank you.’

‘It has had a profound effect on my wellbeing and I will continue to improve with self-care.’

‘I feel more positive than I have for the last 3 years.’

We will be looking to start another group in June. If you feel that this is something you may need, why not get in touch?

We started a walking group which takes place every Friday with our lovely Olive. Participants are invited along to meet at Ocean Road Community Centre at 10.30.

Walking has some excellent benefits for both physical and mental health. As we have our annual South Tyneside summer parade, we are encouraging our participants to take part with us and feel the walking group will be a great start to get us ready.

We also met the amazing Dotty the dog this month who may make an appearance on some of our walks. A lot of our participants have dogs are welcome to bring them along.

Picture of dotty the dog

We also have our men’s walking group still running at Ocean Road Community Centre which is run by one of our participants, Mark Ellwood. This has been a great success and helped many of men in our local area come together.

I popped into Sea Change in Ocean Road, which is the lovely friendly café ran by Autism Able. Andrew, their Education Manager, and I chatted around the employment opportunities available to people with autism and learning difficulties which is a great link for our Pathways team who work with neurodiverse participants.

We have a Holistic Handicrafts group which takes place at St Pauls and St Johns Church Hall every Wednesday Morning at 10.30 – 12.30. So far, our participants have taken part in encaustic art, paint pouring, textile art, card making and crocheting. It’s been great for everyone to get to know each other and some great pieces of art have been made in the process as well as participants doing demonstrations for the group on their favourite crafts.

Alongside Holistic Handicrafts, we have also had our Craft-a-Rella group ran by the amazing Barbara, a previous participant of ours. In this group, participants are learning how to make patterns so that they can design and alter their own clothes.

This is held at South Tyneside Museum on a Tuesday between 1.30-3.30. This will also link in with the South Tyneside Museum archives exhibition on fashion.

The next workshop will be teaching how to sew using the sewing machine.

We visited Creative Seed to discuss costume ideas for the summer parade. We spotted some amazing handcrafted outfits around the building and this has us very excited to see our finished result.

Over the coming months, we will continue to have our drop-ins at Flagg Court every Tuesday between 11-12.00 located in the reception area.

Bilton Hall community Centre 12.30-1.30 every Friday with a free cuppa and cake for anyone who pops in for information on what we do…. Bonus!!

We hope you have all had a great month!

10th May 2019

Hey everyone,

So it’s the first week of May and this week we have been looking at social isolation and how we can try to tackle that. We have lots of exciting things coming up which we hope will help our local community come together.

As it is National Walking Month we have set up a women’s walking group in South Shields. This will commence on the 17th May at 10.am with Olive and we will meet at Ocean Road Community Centre.

Walking has some great health benefits such as,

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • stronger bones and improved balance
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat.

As well as the above it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and get in practice for Our Summer Parade March. We invite all our participants to come along and join in the fun. The theme this year will be space fantasy!

We still have our walking men’s’ group at Ocean Road Community centre which is run by our participant Mark Ellwood. This has been quite successful and has helped many men in the local area come together and make new friends.

As well as our walking group we have our Holistic Handicrafts on at 10.30am on Wednesdays. at St Pauls and St Johns Church Hall.

Each week we do a different handicraft. This week we did Encaustic Art which involved using wax to create a picture. Next week will be paint pouring.

We also have a Craft-a-Rella event which is led by our previous participant, Barbara. This will be a chance to learn pattern cutting, sewing and upcycling. A great opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.

It will be held at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery starting Tuesday 21st May weekly at 1.30pm-3.30pm

We look forward to seeing you at our events


April Update from Emma

Emma's picture

It’s been a great April here at South Tyneside Moving On Tyne and Wear!

We have secured our place in the South Shields Summer Parade and we have been working with Creative Seed on ideas for costumes and how to make them which has been great fun. We are really looking forward to taking part in July and hope that some of our participants will join us on the walk.

We attended Simonside Hub and got to know the amazing volunteers there. We dropped into the Fibromyalgia group for a cuppa and had a good chat to the ladies who attended. It was great fun and I also got to find out more information about the condition.

We had our weekly drop-in session at Flagg Court on Tuesday between 11-12, you don’t need an appointment and you can find out more information regarding what we do as a programme and what we can offer as well as meeting me –Emma Dawson the Community Engagement worker for South Tyneside

Bilton Hall was another great place we dropped in, it’s situated in Low Simonside and has some great groups and events running such as dance, community bingo, social evenings and boxing. They have also just opened their new community shop which has some great little bargains!

We enjoyed a coffee at Stars (South Tyneside Recovery Unit) with their clients and staff and discussed the barriers and issues they face when looking for work and training.

I also went along to the Quorum Jobs Fair which was held in their Business Park in North Tyneside and talked to the employers about the South Tyneside residents and what they had to offer them in relation to jobs and support.

We have welcomed 16 people to the programme for April and are looking forward to helping them move on in their journey towards employment, training and skills. And we said goodbye to 3 of our hard-working participants who have successfully moved onto training and education.

Our Self- awareness course which supports those with anxiety and confidence issues by helping them focus on moving forward and rethinking how they may view themselves is into its 2nd week and we are already seeing differences in the group which is great as it is a huge first step for participants on their journey.

We have got some very exciting workshops coming up in May for the crafty and fashion focussed, so keep your eyes open for my blogs in May to find out more.


Community Engagement Update

A visit to Simonside Community Hub

We popped into Simonside Community Hub this week and met some lovely ladies at the Fibromyalgia group.  We even stayed for a bite to eat and a cup of tea at their very reasonably priced café. On offer were amazing paninis, salads, jacket potatoes and other scrumptious snacks.

Simonside Community Hub is based on Wenlock Road, South Shields. It re-opened in March this year and has some great things going on.

They are volunteer-led and work very hard to bring some great services to the community. So far, they have daily parent and toddler sessions with free fruit juice for the children. Further to this, they also offer arts and crafts, bingo, fitness classes and weight loss support. This is great for helping people to overcome social isolation and improve their mental health.

The Hub also runs a Fibromyalgia support group and hope to run a cancer support group in the future.

Simonside Community Hub is also having discussions about involving a group of young people to help with social activities and delivering healthy living support.

On site, they have a community shop consisting of clothes, toys, ornaments, games and much more at very low prices- great for the bargain hunter! They are also open to donations if you are having a clear out and would like to support them.

You can assess their page by going to their Facebook page.

You will find more information, daily posts about groups, and upcoming events, as well as competitions with a chance to win some great prizes.

We really enjoyed our visit and are looking forward to our next one helping to support their work.


Our team across the community

Our staff have been busy since the start of the new year. At South Tyneside, we think it’s crucial to be visible to the people in our area.

Monday 21st January is also known as ‘Blue Monday’. Dubbed as the most depressing day of the year, Change for Life hosted a health and wellbeing event at Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre. Our Navigator, James, attended and spoke to lots of lovely folk who popped by!

On Wednesday 30th January, the team attended Jobcentre Plus’ new year event to speak to people who could be looking for support from a service like ours.

The staff and public were able to meet some of the staff; Mark Blyth (Peer Mentor Coordinator) and Julie Wilson (Navigator) and were able to ask direct questions about the service.

Julie explained the role of the Navigator and the things we hoped to achieve with participants referred for the Jobcentre whilst Mark explained peer mentoring for the over 50’s as well as the outcomes they have achieved.


MOTW’s Social Enterprise project launching in South Tyneside

Poster describing NEST activities

Find out everything you need to know about NEST here.

New activities in South Tyneside

July Update

New Staff

Jen is our social enterprise co-ordinator who is looking into helping our participants set up their own businesses and group community interests.
Sue is our Autism and LLDD (learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities) specialist, Sue works in partnership with NEAS (North East Autism Society) to provide support to our region.

Over 50’s Brain Gym

Last week saw the start of the ‘Brain Gym’ – this is a group for our over 50’s participants.
The aim of the group is to develop a service for people over 50’s to exercise their brains and to keep them active, this will be achieved through the participants actively planning a range of actives that will support their mental health and wellbeing as well as the opportunity to access bespoke accredited training.

Participants getting involved in the Innovation Project's brain gym


Gym Buddies

Another one of our over 50’s groups is the Gym Buddies, it provides a relaxed, friendly and supportive gym session for participants who would like to get back into some physical activity.
We have participants with numerous physical health issues such as COPD, heart disease, arthritis and nerve damage and participants who have mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bi-polar who thought that they wouldn’t be able to go to the gym, doing really well and achieving amazing results.

A new member of the group gave his feedback:

‘I was depressed, nervous, and anxious and didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t been around strangers.’ ‘I feel inspired and feel I have a focus on what I need to do, I have met very positive people and feel like part of a team.’

Gym Buddy In Action

Joining forces with Veterans Response Service

The South Tyneside team took part in supporting Veterans Response Service in Sunderland on the 1st July 20018.

The event was connected to the Arm Forces Day which was to raise awareness of those that have served in the armed forces and the battle they face once they have left. MOTW joined forces with Veterans Support to raise the profile and to capture anyone that needed support.

Mark Blyth helped run the tombola for the veteran’s to raise money for the charity and to promote MOTW along with the support they can offer to people leaving the armed services. This would include gaining further education, training, and employment.

Ian Driver, Director of Veterans Response, was very grateful for the support and showed his appreciation towards MOTW by recommending the service to future clients using his service.


South Tyneside Parade

As the sunshine hit and the South Tyneside summer festival began Moving on Tyne and Wear were there to show our support for the community and the residents of South Tyneside.
The theme of this year’s festival was Monsters Myths and Magic and we went as characters from Harry Potter.

The team holding up a MOTW banner at the parade

Left to right – Mark – Mad-Eye Moody, Olive – Professor Trelawney, Sally – Luna Lovegood, Emma – Rita Skeeter, Trevor Ford, Gail – Deloris Umbridge, one elf and Harry Potter at the front.

We had participants in the parade, one marched with us, one marched with another organisation that they were involved with but they both said that if it had not been for the involvement with Moving On Tyne & Wear and the Gym Buddies class they would not have had the confidence or fitness level to do the parade.

Gym Buddies at the parade

Gym Buddies Karen and Trevor

The Parade was a great success and especially for our participants as it has shown that there are no barriers to what you can achieve, Karen explained that 6 months ago she was sitting in her pyjamas every day where as now she is involved in life again and proving that she can do anything she wants as long as she believes in herself.

Trevor said that he has lived in the area for 13 years and this is the first time he has been to the beach, that he was doing things that he would never have before he started the programme as he is now a peer mentor, part of the Gym Buddies and Brain Gym and currently training towards a recognised qualification.

MOTW team at the parade

Thank you for all of the support that we received whilst marching, we hope to see you all next year, and if you want to be involved come and join us.

Meet the team

Hello and welcome to the South Tyneside team page. Keep up with what’s going on in our area on this page.


Gail Brook – Senior Navigator

Alan Wilson – Navigator

Sally Carter – Navigator

Emma Dawson – Administrator

Mark Blyth – Peer Mentor Coordinator

Jen Feckie – Social Entreprise Coordinator

Olive Diamond – Support Worker

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