New initiative aims to encourage more charitable funding

Alan and Eileen Ferguson, from Ferguson's of Blyth. Picture by Gilbert Johnston.
Alan and Eileen Ferguson, from Ferguson's of Blyth. Picture by Gilbert Johnston.

A new initiative aiming to tackle youth unemployment and poverty is being launched in Northumberland.

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is leading Northumberland’s Vital Signs 2016.

The initiative aims to tackle the problems by encouraging people and organisations to consider charitable funding.

One business already on board is Fergsuon’s of Blyth, run by Alan and Eileen Ferguson.

Eileen said: “Through the Ferguson’s of Blyth Fund, Alan and I support a variety of projects. As a responsible business, we share resources and this has developed into a personal passion.”

“As part of our daughter’s personal development we have established funds where they can choose their own worthy causes to support.

“By giving our children this gift we’re able to grow our families’ culture of giving, and hope to spark a passion and a sense of compassion and understanding.”

Mark Pierce, director of community knowledge and funding at the Community Foundation, said: “The Community Foundation is trying to encourage more local giving to fill the gaps in philanthropic funding across Northumberland.

“An overall shortfall in the South East is a concern given the disadvantage there, but we are targeting our funding on key issues like unemployment, health and learning.

“However, we also need to consider how to provide support to address needs that can be hidden even within more apparently prosperous rural communities.”

For more information about Northumberland’s Vital Signs 2016 visit