A learning project and job creation scheme in the north-east of England are hailed in an independent report.
Middlesbrough's Regen School North East, and Consultants from the Community (CofroCo) in Sunderland, are praised in the government-funded study.
Regen School promotes community-based education and CofroCo uses local people as consultants to help the unemployed.
They are hailed in a report into how state-funded projects help regenerate rundown communities.
The North East Regen School opened in July 2003 and handles about 20 students a year from Northumberland to Teesside.
The school's director John McGough said: "Because we are community rather than classroom based, we have several bases within existing community organisations.
"We already have 17 organisations providing mentoring ranging from development trusts to youth programmes and social enterprise."
CofroCo's three consultants were each among the Regen school's first intake of students.
It was set up in the Hendon New Deal for Communities (NDC) area of Sunderland.
The projects were jointly funded by the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, based in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Home Office.