WORKING TOGETHER TO CREATE NEW OUTCOMES
North East Wellbeing has a broad base in the communities where we work. We listen to the voices of children and those that care for them as we design and deliver our work.
This broad base also relates to brother and sister organisations working towards the same goal of tackling the structural roots of poverty, racism and inequality. We feel connected to some wonderful work delivered by our friends and want always to reach out to learn and support.
Our ethos of respecting our community’s network of providers is fundamental to our approach.
“North East Wellbeing recognises the systemic and institutional forces that act on a child’s life and the social policies that create deprivation. We put experience of children in front those in power so that real change in their circumstances is possible. To achieve this, we work collaboratively with existing support networks, supporting but never supplanting.”
Dr Toby Quibell, Director
“To achieve great things for children we have to gang up on the problem not each other.”
Nick Blackburn, Founding Trustee
The systemic and institutional forces that can damage a child’s life are best targeted from multiple, though coordinated, positions. We incorporate this thinking into our own projects, as well as when we connect with other organisations. At Zone West, this is borne out through the networks we have facilitated between GP surgeries, primary schools and communities, with our Link Workers doing exactly what their job says on the tin.
Wilderness Schooling always works with schools to personalise its support for pupils, and approaches wellbeing holistically to actively support learning. Therapeutic Schooling matches expertise to individual need and coordinates the care it provides with existing safeguarding structures, rather than replacing them. Curious Beasts makes sure to ensure not only school collaboration, but family and community engagement when addressing the social and emotional needs of a child.
Campaigns and organisations we support
North East Wellbeing extends this connected way of thinking beyond our own projects. As an organisation, we see our work in its wider context, so target not only the outcomes of societal harm to children, but also its root causes.
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We do this through our work with Citizens UK, as one of the Tyneside alliance’s member organisations. Citizens UK offers a community organising model which we have learnt much from. In particular, its emphasis on listening to a community before acting and always placing their voice at the centre of what guides us. Their focussed action on poverty, mental health and safer cities chimes with our own aims.
At the moment we are working with them on an anti-racism campaign to make the North East’s cities safer and more equal. It is by combining an expansive approach to campaigning with specific, focussed care that North East Wellbeing hopes that children and their families can experience real change.
Citizens UK also leads nationwide campaigns which we support. To get involved with their Living Wage Campaign, follow this link. NEW understands the importance of fair pay and the impact it has on families and children, particularly when considering the correlation between poverty and education.
Children North East’s Poverty Proofing project does fantastic work on a now national campaign, working with schools and organisations to identify and overcome barriers that children and young people from families with less financial resources face.
Their project supports schools in ‘Poverty Proofing the School Day’ by auditing each individual school and listening to pupils, staff, parents and governors. This results in an action plan tailored to addressing any stigmatising policies or practices, and the offer of training to staff and governors on poverty and its impact on education. Prior to Covid-19, 30% of all children in the UK suffered the effects of poverty, with an additional 200,000 predicted to be now living in poverty since the start of the pandemic. We think that their work is urgent and compassionate.
For refugees living in the North East, organisations supporting their experience have an important impact. Darlington Assistance for Refugees offers assistance with friendship and communication, helps with tackling paperwork and appointments, connects people to food banks, legal assistance and offers language classes. They also help families enrol their children in local schools.
Outside of the North, the West London Zone has been an inspiration to us in showing the power of social prescribing for children and young people. Our North East Zone West has been inspired by their model and their emphasis on partnership within the local area. We agree that vulnerable children need intensive, personalised support to help them re-engage with friends, school and learning during Covid-19.
Our coordinated approach also means that we work with Blue Stone Collaborative to provide our Zone West project. BSC removes any competitive attitudes towards providing services, instead facilitating local commissioners and stakeholders to come together and collectively target the areas that need to most support in a community.