2019 Summary.

Welcome to our 2019 Skill Mill Summary where we have put together what has been going on throughout the year across our sites. 


Forestry Commission England 
The Forestry Commission look after more land and more trees than any other organisation in the country, shaping landscapes for people, timber and wildlife. The Skill Mill assisted The Forestry Commission with some exciting work at Dalby Forest. 

TransPennine Express Funding

The Skill Mill Durham teamed up with The Durham Woodland Revival and were awarded funding from TransPennine Express, after a public vote. This partnership received funding form the TransPennine Express Transform Community Grant scheme, which has allowed for The Skill Mill to improve and manage the woodland in Ferryhill Carrs. It has been great to receive this funding, as there were a massive 114 applications submitted from projects around the country. 


The Skill Mill signed the University of Cambridge 'Catchment Management Declaration'

The Skill Mill signed the Catchment Management Declaration, alongside leading organisations such as Coca Cola, Asda, and M&S. The Catchment Management Declaration, was founded by Cambridge University's Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Our partnership organisations, Northumbrian Water and Yorkshire Water signed the declaration too. The Catchment Management Declaration is a collaborative initiative that will create multi-sector water management.


The Child Friendly Leeds Awards

Child Friendly Leeds was launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. The awards bring together organisations and individuals who are committed to making a positive difference to the lives of children across Leeds. The Child Friendly Leeds Awards nominated The Skill Mill for the 'Overall Contribution for Making Leeds a Child Friendly City' award.  

The Benefits of Nature

Recognition of the benefits of nature has continued to grow. Doctors in Scotland can now prescribe nature. At The Skill Mill, our young people spend a great deal of their time outdoors. It contributes to reducing reoffending, and increasing employment opportunities. We know that spending time in nature is a great way to improve life chances, and transform individual futures. Skill Mill received some funding from the School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellows Future Fund to explore the specific mental and physical health benefits for our employees.

#LitterHeroes Campaign

The 'Keep Britain Tidy' #LitterHeroes campaign took place. Everyone at The Skill Mill was busy as always, clearing areas and correctly disposing of litter. Taking part in an event like this during spring means that many areas are much cleaner, so they can be enjoyed by everyone during the summer months. The #LitterHeroes campaign is Great Britain’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. 


Durham Skill Mill received the Investing in Children Membership Award

Investing in Children (IiC) works in partnership with private and public service agencies, including universities across Europe.  The Investing in Children Membership Award gives organisations national recognition for the good practice and active inclusion of children and young people in dialogue that results in change; celebrating examples of imaginative and inclusive practice. This is a brilliant achievement and clearly demonstrates the positive impact that Skill Mill has upon the lives of young people. 

Liverpool's Youth Offending Service (YOS) rated 'good' with some 'outstanding' areas

Following an official inspection, Liverpool’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) received ‘good’ rating with some ‘outstanding’ areas. Inspectors were impressed at the range of structured programmes available, and found clear evidence of children and young people participating in those programmes. The Skill Mill is one of the programmes contributing to good outcomes at Liverpool YOS. 



Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival 

The Skill Mill attended Northumbrian Water's 'Innovation Festival'. The week was a huge success, being one of the biggest Festivals of Innovation the world has ever seen. More than 3,000 people from nearly 700 leading organisations around the globe were there. The aim of the event was to come up with innovative solutions to some of the biggest and hard-hitting challenges faced by society and the environment, within five action-packed days. 
Keith Appleton from Durham Skill Mill delivered an outstanding presentation, describing how The Skill Mill reduces reoffending whilst getting young people into employment. The positive impact which The Skill Mill has on communities and the environment is unique, and the festival was an incredible opportunity to share this with people from a variation of backgrounds. 


International Youth Day 

Monday the 12th of August was International Youth Day. The day is celebration of young people, youth-led organisations, Governments and others who are working to transform education and uplift young people everywhere. The Local Government Organisation highlighted the amazing work which Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) are doing to support young people. The Skill Mill operates in five YOTs across the North of England, actively reducing reoffending and supporting young people into employment. 


World Cleanup Day

World Cleanup Daywas held on the 21st of September 2019. The Skill Mill are delighted to have been UK lead for the event. 2019 was the biggest World Cleanup Day yet, with over 20 million people across 179 different countries getting involved. 


The Howard League for Penal Reform Awards

The Howard League for Penal Reform annual awards are for the most successful community projects which encourage desistance from crime. The Skill Mill were a finalist for the 'Organisation of the Year'. We are delighted to have been runners-up in this category. 

Buy Social for a Better World Campaign

'The'Buy Social for a Better World' campaign was held during October. It is a campaign which celebrates social enterprises, shining a spotlight on the incredible difference they make. The week was a chance for The Skill Mill to celebrate the incredible positive impact which we make, particularly shining a light on the social and environmental benefits which we bring to communities. 


The Big Co-op Payout

The Skill Mill received £1099.60 from The Big Co-op Payout. A celebration was held on Friday 22nd November at Newcastle University's Co-op store. This was a great opportunity for us to meet some of those who have supported us, and for people to find out more about The Skill Mill. 

Move to the Northern Design Centre

The Northern Design Centre is the newest icon on the Newcastle/Gateshead skyline and has quickly become the premier location for creative and design led businesses in the North East of England. In November, The Skill Mill moved into their new space at The Northern Design Centre. 

Youth Justice Convention 

Hosted by the YJB, the Youth Justice Convention is the annual event for all those working in the youth justice system, in particular managers, professionals, practitioners and policy makers. 2019 was about ‘Working together, making a difference’. The Skill Mill attended the event to support job creation as a way of unlocking serious and persistent youth offending and to further demonstrate that by working together, we can make a difference. 


Children & Young People Now Partnership Working Award Winners 2019

The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. The Skill Mill are delighted to have won The Partnership Working Award. This award is for the outstanding multi-agency project or team that has made the greatest improvement to people’s lives. 

Social Enterprise UK Awards

The Social Enterprise UK Awards recognise businesses that give back, enrich communities and make a contribution to society. The Skill Mill were shortlisted as a finalist in the 'Prove It: Social Impact' category. This category is for social enterprises that can truly demonstrate their social impact with their stakeholders. We are absolutely delighted to have been runners up. 

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The Skill Mill · Northern Design Centre · Abbott’s Hill · Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 3DF · United Kingdom

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