Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 07:42 UK

Rock money to help the homeless

Northern Rock
Northern Rock Foundation is run independently of the bank

The charitable arm of Northern Rock is donating £500,000 to groups working with disadvantaged and homeless young people in the North East and Cumbria.

The money is part of the latest round of grants, totalling £1,855,517.

Set up in 1997, the Northern Rock Foundation is run independently of the bank and has its own board of trustees.

In response to the recession, the board has agreed that from 2010 it will focus on developing initiatives for those who are financially excluded.

Included in the latest round of awards is £75,000 for Eden Rural Foyer in Penrith, which provides accommodation and training to homeless young people.

'Really impressed'

Helix Arts will receive £90,000 to expand a successful project for young offenders throughout the North East.

Other grants include £105,000 for Harbour Support Services, which helps women and children in Hartlepool, Stockton and Peterlee who are affected by domestic violence.

Penny Wilkinson, the foundation's chief executive, said: "I have visited several of the projects that were awarded grants and was really impressed by the work they do, which makes a real impact on people across the region.

"Many charities are facing pressure on their funding right now, and I'm pleased that the foundation's contribution will help to sustain their work over the next few years."

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