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YHN United For Employment Participants Celebrate Graduation

Participants from the latest United for Employment programme, in partnership with Your Homes Newcastle, have recently celebrated their graduation at St James’ Park.

United for Employment aims to help YHN tenants develop skills and obtain qualifications to support their transition back into the work place.  The five week course was delivered at the learning centre at St. James’ Park with participants working on a range of tasks related to interview skills, public speaking, confidence building, team-working, IT and health and fitness.

The graduation gives the group time to reflect on the achievements and share their proudest moments.  Representatives from YHN were also present to see just how far the group has progressed. 

Newcastle United Foundation Project Officer, Kirsty McMillan, said: ‘We’re so proud of the hard work and effort that the participants have put into the course.  There have been plenty of new challenges and they’ve taken on each one with real enthusiasm and commitment.  We’ve seen these people develop so much more confidence during their time with us and we’re excited that they’re now in a much better position to take advantage of opportunities that come their way.”

Participant Gemma Parsonage said: “Joining the course was possibly one of the hardest things I have had to do, I had been out of work for a long time and wasn’t sure I could cope with meeting new people and being in a ‘classroom environment’ all over again except, there was nothing class roomy about it.

“United for Employment is nothing like I expected, it actually helped me and brought my confidence back up to where it should be, higher than it’s been in a long time.

“One of the main things I will take away from this course is the understanding of just how important each team member is to a business, and each member has no higher or lower place. We all had individual roles to play to ensure smooth running of the work place.

“A simple thank you, doesn’t seem enough for all the help and the opportunity I have been offered by Your Homes Newcastle and Newcastle United Foundation. I could not have been in the place I am in today without them.”

Stuart Clarke, Employability Manager at YHN, added: “YHN runs a number of courses in partnership with training providers to provide support to tenants across the city who are struggling to find work.

“United for Employment is a fantastic example of how this partnership working can benefit local people and the training provided to our tenants here is very exciting – visiting the hallowed turf of St James’ Park is obviously very appealing and there are so many practical experiences offered that participants can’t fail to get something great to add to their CVs.”

For more information on our United for Employment projects please email Kirsy McMillan.(

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