Monday Morning Beach Clean

Monday Morning Beach Clean

Today was our first planned activity of the new academic year where we got together with a group of amazingly motivated young apprentices from all different programmes; and staff from NTC’s Adult Learning Service to take part in a beach clean on one of our beautiful beaches in North Tyneside, Tynemouth. It was a warm September day and there was a very low tide waiting for us when we arrived as we prepared ourselves with bags and litter pickers very generously given by NTC Environmental Services team. We started out on the gorgeous golden sands with the sun high in the sky but found that rubbish was strangely elusive, but what we did gather was carefully deposited into our rubbish bags ready for Sean from NTC Cleansing Services to collect and take away. What was abundantly clear was the time spent on the beach was time put to good use, not only in contribution to being good citizens or becoming more environmentally aware of the consequences of rubbish pollution but in making new friends, talking about experiences and laughing at how difficult it is to walk over bumpy, slippy sand! Today wasn’t just about contributing and giving back to our community and environment it was about getting together in a beautiful environment to ward off the Monday morning blues and feeding our souls.

If you would like to find out more about our Apprenticeship Programmes, please contact

Success Stories

Adult Learning Service success stories

In this difficult year it’s great to have something positive to celebrate. The Adult Learning Service (ALS) support numerous learners. The continuing enthusiasm, commitment, and flexibility of the ALS team and particularly tutors Nicole Race and Joanne Walker have been a huge asset in these challenging times. As well as supporting our residents into apprenticeship many existing Council team members are up-skilling through this route.

Particular ‘shout out’ to:

  • Shellie, whose passion and dedication shines through. She has just completed (ahead of schedule and to a very high standard) her Level 4 Business Administration qualification.
  • Kerry, Associate Project Management Level 4. Kerry has had a very challenging year, especially over the last few months with the pandemic creating an ever-changing landscape in the services that she manages. Despite this Kerry produces work of an excellent quality and demonstrates high levels of enthusiasm and dedication to her studies.
  • Shay – Shay formerly won the ALS Apprentice of the Year award for his administrative work in a hospital during covid, and he has now passed his apprenticeship and the project he led will be beneficial to patients.
  • Faye & Lisa – Both have administrative roles in Adult Social Care. Their excellent communication and digital skills have supported the remote delivery of essential services.
  • The 1st cohort of Level 4 Diploma in Project Management learners. Most of this group faced changes to their job roles and work environment and had to review their projects to meet these. All have now successfully completed and the quality of their portfolios and strength of their skills and knowledge, have been fundamental in helping ALS obtain Direct Claims Status for this qualification.

Both the tutors and all these learners embody the values of “We Listen. We Care. We are ambitious. We are good value for money”. They, have all worked hard and quickly adapted to change, carrying out administrative work, using up to date skills, which have helped businesses to deliver on their priorities and keep vital services going.

All should be very proud of themselves. Well done!

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place every year on September 10th to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. The theme this year is ‘Creating Hope through Action’ – a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide. Over 6,000 people die by suicide in the UK each year and men remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
Most people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. This year we encourage all our colleagues to help raise awareness of how to help
prevent suicide, reduce the stigma and get the confidence to reach out. The Zero suicide alliance has short one line training that we’d encourage everyone to complete

• The Gateway session provides a very brief introduction to suicide awareness and only takes 5-10 minutes.

• The ZSA Suicide Awareness Training is a more in depth suicide awareness training session which takes around 20 minutes.

Evidence shows asking someone if they’re suicidal can protect them, starting a conversation could help save a life!

Gillian Halpin who is one of our Mental Health First Aiders explains below how important talking and listening is.

“I’ve been a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) for almost 3 years and a big part of that is supporting colleagues by simply talking and listening. MHFAs have comprehensive training around offering initial support and signposting for people experiencing emotional distress or mental health – and the description of MHFA includes some impressive-sounding words like ‘being a point of contact’, ‘interaction’ and ‘early intervention’.

As a massive part of the MHFA role is non-judgemental listening, in everyday language we’re often simply having a conversation, or even a chat. So MHFAs have training – but anyone can (and often do, without even thinking about it) make a difference and support someone with their mental health and wellbeing simply by having a chat or even ‘small talk’, knowing that:

• our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling

• small talk can save lives and create a sense of connection and hope in somebody who may be struggling

• compassion and kindness in being there to listen can help colleagues in need feel more comfortable in coming forward to seek help

On World Suicide Prevention Day, and every day, we can reach out and let others know they’re not alone.”

Gillian Halpin
Learning Mentor – Employment & Skills

Where to go for further support:

• Our Mental Health First Aiders are here to listen and signpost to any further support for any employee that is going through a difficult time. A list of Mental Health First Aiders and contact details can be found here.

• Call the free Samaritans number, 116 123, at any time, 365 days a year.

September Safeguarding Update

September Safeguarding update.

Safeguarding Team

Please contact any of the team if you have a concern:

Belinda Payne

Val Rooney

Helen Samuel

And Lou Ross who is covering for Gemma Welsh

Run, Hide, Tell

As mentioned during our briefing can you please ensure you and your learners watch the following YouTube video Run, Hide, Tell to ensure all are prepared in the event of  a lockdown or an evacuation situation. This will help prepare all with the basic principles of Run, Hide, Tell to ensure you take necessary precautions, please ensure this is part of your induction process for new learners. Our policy will be available soon with suitable training and support.

Safeguarding Training Refresher

We need to ensure all staff are updated on their safeguarding training and ask everyone to undergo the following online training to ensure they are up to date. Can I ask you all to complete this by Friday 29 October 2021. Once this is completed can you please alert Andrea Chubb who will add you to the record of mandatory training. This safeguarding refresher needs to be updated every 2 years so you will be alerted when it runs out.


As I mentioned in the briefing there is increasing concern about this group of young men who meet in chat rooms on the internet. They define themselves as being unable to form or access relationships with women. They believe this is a result of genetic factors, evolutionarily determined traits in women and inequitable social structures. The booklet attached is a fascinating read developed following research into these groups. It incorporates a glossary of terms which is a whole new language and highlights a secretive but troubling group that can be instigators of loan actor violence in communities as outlined in the document.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Some of you may know already that it is World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th Gillian Halpin has requested the following and attached presentation be sent out to all staff to support awareness of suicide prevention. Please also note that Suicide Prevention and Self Harm tins are available in all of our centres from Thursday usually in the kitchen area.

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place every year on September 10th to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.  The theme of this years’ day is

Creating Hope through Action’ – a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide. The day aims to inspire confidence in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, can provide hope to those who are struggling. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments.

The factors and causes that lead to suicide are complex; no single approach works for everyone. There are certain factors and life events that may make someone more vulnerable to suicide and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can also contribute.  People who are suicidal may feel trapped or like a burden to those around them and feel like they are alone and have no other options. By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them.

  • Please see attached PowerPoint showing the contents of a suicide prevention tin The tins contain a range of resources that help people to better understand and manage their wellbeing, and support other people they are concerned about

Events include:

  • Emotional Resilience training: 7th, 8th 9th and 10th September
  • Self-Harm Awareness and Response training: 7th, 8th and 10th September
  • Creating Hope through Action virtual event: 10th September
  • Buddy catch ups, virtual coffee breaks, wellbeing walks: scheduling in a short break to have a non-work related conversation can make a huge positive difference to how colleagues (and ourselves) are  feeling

Other resources to support World Suicide Prevention Day:

  • The Zero Suicide Alliance  offers short and effective online training.  Three levels of training are offered:
  • The ‘Step up’ module gives a brief introduction to social isolation, and how to help someone who may be isolated. In 5-10 minutes this module covers adjusting to the new normal following the Coronavirus,  taking into account the significant changes in how many of us live and work.
  • The Gateway session provides a very brief introduction to suicide awareness. In just 5-10 minutes, you could learn skills to help someone considering suicide.  This module gives tips on how to approach someone if you are worried they may considering taking their own life.
  • The ZSA Suicide Awareness Training is a more in depth suicide awareness training session which takes around 20 minutes.  The session focuses on removing stigma and encouraging open conversations and aims to give you the skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide.
  • If U care share support people who are feeling very low or suicidal, and people that have lost someone to suicide.

Other signposting information on mental health and wellbeing

Employee Assistance Programme – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week confidential advice and support at Employee Assistance Programme   Or call 0800 231 5052

Learning Pool resources  Managing your health and wellbeing during and beyond COVID-19   –

Local Government Association and NHS Englanduseful advice, tools and tips on managing emotions, stress and wellbeing for those staff providing care

Living Life to the Full – online resource for managing low mood, stress and anxiety and other advice. Go to and enter code ‘NHSStaff’ for free access

NHS – for general mental health information and specific ‘mental health while staying at home’ and ‘worried about coronavirus’ sections:

MIND – For more practical advice for staying at home and managing your mental health:

Resource Tins

As always please contact us if you have any concerns.


Adult Learners of the Year 2021

This year was another challenging year for our adult learners, and we got so many nominations for some amazing learners who all deserved to be acknowledged. All nominations have received a highly commended certificate in the post, the winners have a also received a voucher to treat themselves with to reward their hard work!

It was difficult to pick winners this year due to the strong range of candidates, however some nominations really shined through. The winners this year are:

Apprentice of the YearFaye  & Lisa
Learner of the Year awardTracy
Maths and English Learner of the YearJoungsook
COVID HeroHollie
Digital Skills Learner of the YearPeter
Group AwardIgnite Your Potential Study Group
Group AwardPaul
Group AwardChristopher
Group AwardCameron
Group AwardJames
Group AwardDaniel
Study Programme Learner of the YearAndrew

Apprentice team get together at Rising Sun!

Today some hardy souls from NT Employment & Skills Apprenticeship team braved the rainy weather to get out and about in one of North Tyneside’s beautiful parks, the Rising Sun. Although the weather was typical for the great British summertime we had a great time catching up face to face with colleagues who we  normally only see on Teams calls! The team are hoping to make this a monthly event and make use of all the great sites across North Tyneside.  Hopefully next time it might not be so wet!

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