High Contrast

Press release: Partnership hopes to help more women into work

A pioneering women’s centre has joined a project aimed at helping people overcome their barriers to work and training.

Step Forward Tees Valley, which is run by the Northern Inclusion Consortium (NIC) and jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, has joined forces with the Tees Valley Women’s Centre to support women who want to move closer to training and employment.

Step Forward Tees Valley brings different organisations together to offer practical support to help people resolve issues, such as self-confidence, addiction, a conviction or ill health, so they can move their lives forward.

By working with the Tees Valley Women’s Centre, it is hoped more women will be reached and given the confidence, guidance and advice to find work as well as practical support, such as affordable childcare.

The centre, based in Middlesbrough, is a one-stop shop dedicated to helping women improve their quality of life in a safe, non-threatening environment. It offers free courses and crèche facilities to ensure nothing can stop women achieving.

Helen Collins, Step Forward Programme Manager, said:

I am delighted that the Tees Valley Women’s Centre has joined us. Childcare can often be a barrier for women to work and the crèche at the centre could make the world of difference to some of our participants The centre has an established history of supporting women across the region and I am sure they will help us engage with more women and help them overcome their barriers.

Kathy Lloyd, Manager at the Tees Valley Women’s Centre, said:

We are dedicated to supporting and guiding women so they achieve their potential and can improve their lives. Through our partnership with Step Forward Tees Valley we hope to help more women overcome the issues that may have prevented them from getting a job in the past so they can have a brighter future.

To find out about Step Forward Tees Valley, visit www.sfteesvalley.co.uk or call 01325 529 210. You can also find the project on Twitter @SFTeesValley or Facebook /stepforwardteesvalley.

Pictured: Creche manager Julie Honeyman enjoys a pyjama day with staff and children


  1. For more information about Step Forward Tees Valley, please contact Hayley Jones:
    hayley.jones@niconsortium.org or 0782 5797439 or Helen Collins: helen.collins@niconsortium.org
  2. The Northern Inclusion Consortium (NIC) is an established partnership of four of the North East’s largest charities: Mental Health Concern, DISC, Groundwork North East and Cumbria, and Changing Lives The Northern Inclusion Consortium (NIC) partners are as follows:
    • Mental Health Concern: mentalhealthconcern.org
    • DISC: disc-vol.org.uk
    • Groundwork North East and Cumbria: groundwork.org.uk/sites/northeast
    • Changing Lives: changing-lives.org.uk
  3. Information about Building Better Opportunities:
    • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
    • It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
    • Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.
    The project has received funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

Back to News

Who is the NIC?

Stay in touch


  • Northern Inclusion Consortium
  • Yarm Road
  • Morton Park Business Training Centre
  • Darlington
  • DL1 4PJ
  • 01325 529 210
  • info@niconsortium.org

Site delivered by