Project to support homeless people backed by National Lottery funding

A community project to support people experiencing homelessness in the North East to make positive improvements in their own neighbourhoods has been boosted thanks to National Lottery funding.

The Better Together project, run by Ouseburn Farm in partnership with Tyne Housing, was awarded just under £10,000  from the National Lottery Awards for All programme, which has been used to fund a 12-month programme of focussed work with volunteers experiencing homelessness or insecure housing, helping them create and participate in five group-based gardening projects.

The programme of activities took place at five of Tyne Housing’s properties throughout 2023, where participants had the opportunity to grow fruits and vegetables and enhance outdoor spaces into vibrant, green areas. 

Earlier this month, Tyne residents and volunteers came together in Newcastle to mark the completion of the final project by potting fruit trees, serving as a representation of the lasting impact of the Better Together project.

Sarah Smith, volunteer coordinator at Ouseburn Farm and coordinator of the project, said: “We’re delighted to have been supported by the National Lottery Awards for All programme to encourage Tyne residents to work together and create welcoming outdoor spaces.

“Better Together recognises the importance of connecting people to help them move on with their lives, and it helps people experiencing homelessness to build their confidence and develop new skills.

“The project has fostered a real sense of pride and collaboration, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact these outdoor spaces will have on the well-being of residents for years to come.”

Ouseburn Farm is a charity and working community farm in the heart of Newcastle, supporting vulnerable individuals across the region with placements and volunteering opportunities. Since 2010, it has been a subsidiary of Tyne Housing, a charitable housing association which prides itself on the relationships it builds with people to help them get to a better place through tailored support, housing, healthcare, training and investment in communities.