• South Tyneside youth coach tops Talent Match awards

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South Tyneside youth coach tops Talent Match awards

South Tyneside youth coach tops Talent Match awards

Stirling Hood, of charity South Tyneside TEN, has won Talent Match North East’s Youth Coach Award 2017 for his work supporting and guiding young people into employment.


Stirling picked up his award at a ceremony celebrating the successes of Talent Match North East (TMNE) hosted by the Wise Group.

TMNE takes an innovative approach to tackling long-term youth unemployment, helping hundreds of 18-24 year-olds each year to transform their lives for the better.

The event, held at The Discovery Museum, Newcastle, highlighted achievements in eight areas, including categories for youth coaches, employers, partners and, of course, young people.

Laurie Russell, Chief Executive of lead partner, the Wise Group, welcomed almost 100 young people to the event, along with representatives of the Big Lottery Fund, Newcastle United Foundation, Groundwork, Gateshead College Remploy and Barnados.

He said: “It’s a fantastic honour to host the Talent Match North East awards and to hear about so many amazing success stories from across the region.

“As the North East has one of the highest proportions of young people who are not in education, employment or training it makes me proud to see the impact that the Wise Group and its partners are having on youth unemployment.”

Young people can benefit from the support of a youth coach who can help them access training, volunteering and work experience opportunities to help improve job prospects.

Laurie continued: “With the tailored one-to-one support that the programme offers we can help unlock the potential in young people, matching their talents to the needs of employers.”

The judging panel picked Stirling as the Youth Coach Award winner, siting his outstanding commitment and dedication to helping young people grow and achieve their goals.

Stirling, from Blaydon, said: “I’m overwhelmed to have won the Youth Coach Award and it really reflects on the high level of dedication that we all share at TEN in not just encouraging young people but also ourselves to be the best coaches we can for the people that walk through our doors.

“I love the challenge of working with young people and helping them sort through the many issues and barriers they face to get into employment. Before joining TEN and getting involved with the Talent Match programme, I had never specialised in working with young people and I was nervous about how they would react to my coaching, but they seem to have really taken to me!”

North East employers Sage, Sitel and Durham University were also there having been shortlisted for awards.

Roger Winhall, Head of Funding, Talent Match at Big Lottery Fund, said: “It is great to see National Lottery funding being used to support so many young people across the North East into employment. This event not only celebrates the young people’s incredible hard work and success, but also the impact and difference that Talent Match North East is making to the lives of young people.”

South Tyneside TEN was established in 1994 to address the growing problem of unemployment in South Tyneside.

Hazel McCallion, chief executive, South Tyneside TEN, said: “We are delighted and proud that Stirling received the award as we know he works exceptionally hard for the young people he supports. The Talent Match programme is centred on the needs of the young people, many of whom have made great progress improving their confidence and skills and successfully securing employment.”

TMNE, which is a partnership between young people, voluntary sector and public agencies, will help 2,500 young people over the lifetime of the programme, with at least 500 supported to hold down a job for six months or more.

Talent Match North East is one of 21 partnerships across England funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

A full list of award categories, shortlisted nominees and winners can be found at

To find out more about Talent Match North East call 0191242 4898 or email or follow @TalentMatchNE on Twitter.