What People Say About Us
"Programmes like this one offer a fantastic social and learning environment for young people. Our participants will receive valuable work experience whilst also gaining independence and developing essential life skills such as team work and communication skills.”
Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Cabinet member for Children and Young People's Services
"Your efforts are proven to work & the approach should be shared and adopted across the country."
Professor Roy Sandbach OBE
"Your project is really inspiring and is clearly making a difference to so many hard to reach young people that I just wanted to thank you for all that you are doing. Your passion and commitment to young people was obvious to all and a real inspiration."
Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
“Residents at Percy Hedley are very happy with the new decking area...
I was initially apprehensive about taking on the volunteers as I have to consider the vulnerability of the service users on the site but I thought the staff who supported the group were very good and the volunteers did a great job, we would be happy to support this type of working collaboration again.”
Jayne Taylor at Percy Hedley.
“We are very excited to be offering young people employment opportunities through Skill Mill Ltd. Environmental management can be extremely rewarding work – as well as offering long-term career opportunities, it can be very fulfilling to know that you are helping to improve the environment for people and wildlife.
“In addition, this Skill Mill project will serve the wider community by teaching important skills and coordinating environmental work with local aspirations. Community involvement in environmental projects is a huge help to us in achieving our goals.”
Marie Fallon, Area Manager at the Environment Agency.
“It has been proven over many years that gaining skills, training and employment are critical in reducing reoffending and enabling young people to move on and live more productive lives.
In creating the Skill Mill Ltd, Newcastle YOT and the Environment Agency, has not only recognised this, but also provided an opportunity for young people to payback the community by improving the natural environment, which we can all benefit from.
Furthermore the offer of a job and training is only open to those who have shown commitment to the reparation programme and successfully completed their sentence, recognising the importance of rehabilitation and a positive attitude to change.”
Frances Done, Chair of the Youth Justice Board.
"Sean gave me that massive chance to prove that I'm not a criminal and I can work, I'm willing to work, and get up every morning and to do stuff for the environment"
Tony, former Skill Mill employee, now working at the Environment Agency
“I believe firmly that people who make mistakes should be given the chance to make amends and undertake rehabilitation to enable them to contribute positively to society and break the cycle of offending.
“Projects like Skill Mill, which give young people mentoring and qualifications, are invaluable in preventing the cycle of offending behaviour. I’ve been delighted to meet the young men involved in this project and to hear about the benefits they feel it has brought to their lives.”
Barry Coppinger, PCC Cleveland.
“The Environment Agency normally only removes debris that could cause an obstruction, and a flood risk. So this is another great opportunity to pool resources with the councils to clear all litter and debris we find in the rivers and have a thorough spring clean.
“Our teams are trained to work in deep water, using specialised equipment and protective suits to remove debris from the river. Last year we had a few surprises, especially when we pulled an old dentist’s chair out of the river. We also collected up to 30 tyres from the river in Darlington. Fly-tipped rubbish is not only unsightly, but could increase the risk of flooding in bad weather if it gets washed further downstream.”
Andrew Foster, Environment Agency Field Operations Team.