Our Programmes

We deliver a range of projects and commissions, all of which are aimed at supporting whole families so that children’s life chances are improved and most of which have been developed from within communities and from service user engagement.

Click on the links below to learn more about our programmes:

Improving Futures for Schools

This is an early intervention and prevention programme developed to support children whose performance at school is being impacted by the whole family situation and where school staff struggle to engage with or fully support the family.

Our improving Futures programme was originally funded by Big Lottery fund as an early intervention and prevention project aimed at supporting primary aged schoolchildren whose performance was not as expected and where school professionals felt the home and wider family environment was a key factor. Schools refer families to their allocated Family Entrepreneur who engaged and support the whole family to address the underlying issues that are impacting the child’s attendance, achievement or general performance. The outcomes or this programme have included improvements in attendance and achievement in over 95% of children referred as well as a range of softer outcomes.

In addition we run a number of bespoke workshops and activities in schools to support children and parents, including our Comic Capers workshops, Sex and Relationship Education sessions, parenting workshops, gardening clubs and others.

Currently, a number of schools across North and South Tyneside are purchasing this service through a Service Level Agreement whereby the school can buy between 3 and 15 family support packages per year for their most complex and difficult to reach families. Schools may also buy individual packages of support and workshops.

If you have an enquiry or would like to talk about a support package please contact Team Leader Chaz Digpal


Macmillan Families and Cancer

Family Gateway are delighted and excited to introduce this programme working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to address the issues of cancer and disadvantage.

Working in disadvantaged communities, the programme supports families who may already have a number of complex or poverty-related issues and who have the added complexity of a cancer diagnosis that impacts their ability to cope.

Using our established and evidence-based Barefoot Professional model of Family Entrepreneurship we offer practical and emotional support to families with a cancer diagnosis in the family; anyone in the family might have the diagnosis (ie parent, child, teenager, grandparent, auntie, uncle). Our aim is to help families focus on children and young people’s needs whilst the family is also coping with diagnosis, treatments, worry, ill health, and possibly dying, death and bereavement on top of a range of other underlying complex issues.

Examples of our work include helping families to talk about cancer with their children, helping them to understand what their diagnosis means for the future, dealing with practical problems such as getting to hospital appointments or arranging childcare for hospital appointments, dealing with financial worries and where necessary planning for and giving support during dying, death and bereavement.

This Macmillan funded project works with families in North Tyneside, South Tyneside and parts of South East Northumberland.

Our Family Entrepreneurs are parents who have experienced similar issues and they work on bespoke packages of support for whole families to ensure that children and young people in families facing cancer are supported and that the impact on their educational, health and social development are not adversely impacted.

Macmillan logo

If you have an enquiry and would like to talk to us about the project please contact Programme Manger Nicola Sugden or contact us through the website here.


Lads and Dads

Lads and Dads is a programme aimed at supporting young dads who struggle to gain access to their children or who need support in parenting, routines, access, custody, employability or other areas of life.

This Big Lottery funded project works with dads in North Tyneside, South Tyneside and parts of South East Northumberland who for some reason have experienced difficulty in seeing their children or in offering the right level of parenting. We support primarily young dads who may need help to gain custody, secure the right housing to enable them to spend time with their children, work through conflict issues with the child’s mother, reduce social isolation and gain employment.

Our Community Entrepreneurs are parents who have experienced similar issues and they work on bespoke packages of support for the dads to ensure that children can benefit from strong healthy bonds with their fathers and enjoy joint parenting to improve their life chances.

BIG Lottery Fund logoIf you have an enquiry and would like to talk to us about the Lads and Dads project please contact Team Leader Julie Croft


Independent Support

Our government-funded programme supports parents / carers and young people who need an Education Health Care plan and can benefit from independent and objective support.

This Department for Education funded programme, managed by the Council for Disabled Children, offers independent support and help to parents / carers of children and young people in North Tyneside and South Tyneside with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities people going through the process of completing an Education and Healthcare Plan. Our fully trained Independent Supporters offer completely impartial and independent help and guidance on completion of the plans and most importantly help parents / carers and young people understand their rights, consolidate their views and find their own voice so that they can be sure of the best possible outcome for them or for the child.

Council for disabled childrenTo make a referral for Independent Support please contact Chaz Digpal


Supporting Families Programme (North Tyneside)

Supporting Families is a Local Authority commissioned programme offering whole family support to families that meet the ‘Troubled Families’ criteria or need preventative support to ensure their issues do not escalate to crisis.

This programme, commissioned by North Tyneside, offers bespoke packages of support to whole families who have a range of complex issues and who meet the criteria set by the government’s Troubled Families programme, or who are deemed to be heading that way and need preventive support through a range of activities and enterprise groups. Our Community Entrepreneurs are fully trained and skilled in engaging the hardest to reach families, building trust and helping address the range of issues that are preventing them from living fulfilling lives and maximising their children’s life chances.

To make a referral or discuss our Supporting Families programme please contact Sally Booth



We offer a range of accredited and non-accredited training to support local people to develop skills and move forward in their lives.

All of our training has been designed and developed in consultation with service users and local people so that we address the very issues that they tell us are important and so that we deliver it in a way that they understand and enjoy, and by people whom they can relate to and who understand their needs and learning styles.

Courses include: self-esteem and confidence, pre-employability, volunteer training, money management, parenting, sex and relationship education.

EU Social Fund logoIf you are interested in referring someone to one of our courses or would like us to deliver a course for you please contact Sally Booth


School holiday activities

We offer a range of fun, interesting, educational and whole family activities during the school holidays to prevent learning loss and improve family bonding and socialisation.

We recognise that school holidays can be a stressful time for many of our families as the cost of entertaining children is often too high for many and some families also do not have the confidence, health or capacity to keep their children busy and entertained. We also know that many children, on their return to school after a holiday, have nothing to talk or write about unlike many of their peers who have been abroad, taken a family holiday or enjoyed a range of outings.

Our school holiday activities are designed to support the whole family, reduce isolation, prevent learning loss and holiday hunger, and build confidence and self-esteem, they include: surfing lessons, beach play days, craft days, adventure park trips, woodland walks and other fun activities.

It is important for us that we take the whole family so that parents bond with the children and in the case of beach, park and woodland walk days, learn the skills of taking simple inexpensive days out with their children.


Enterprise development

Virgin Money Foundation logoWe develop community enterprises that have potential to trade and offer job opportunities, including The Exchange and Home Buddies. The Enterprise unit was developed with support from a grant from the Virgin Money Foundation.

Part of the ethos of Family Gateway is to develop enterprising community-led solutions to local problems and in this work we have developed and tested a number of small enterprises that now have the potential to trade and offer volunteering opportunities and work experience to long term unemployed parents as well as generating unrestricted income to the organisation. Our two most advanced enterprises are The Exchange and Home Buddies:

The Exchange has been run by Michelle, one of our staff members, for over 11 years and began as a local ‘swap shop’ style project whereby parents would bring good quality clothing that their children had grown out of and exchange for bigger sizes. The Exchange is now an established enterprise that takes donations of all good quality clothing and small household items and issues them to local families in crisis, with any surplus stock being sold locally at below charity-shop prices, the profit from which funds the school holiday activities for children.

Home Buddies is a service to vulnerable and complex families who need help cleaning, de-cluttering or organising their home so that it can be safe, hygienic and suitable for family purposes. Our volunteers mentor families in developing routines and skills to keep their home clean and tidy. To fund the service we offer domestic and small commercial cleaning services to local people at a reasonable rate and any profit supports the school holiday activities.

To speak about our enterprises please contact Pauline Wonders


Small projects

We deliver a range of smaller pilot projects that often lay the foundations and evidence for a larger programme development.

Examples have included:

  • Wellesley Trust funding to pilot our young Barefoot Professionals training programme
  • Virgin Money Foundation funding to test the development and launch of our community enterprises
  • Women’s Fund funding to deliver self-esteem and confidence training to young single female parents.


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