Yearly Archives: 2018

H4H bring veterans together with festive workshop

Help for Heroes recently hosted a wreath making workshop at the Resource Centre to help wounded, injured and sick veterans and their families to connect with others in their community.

The workshop took place on 5th December in the centre’s Ford Hall and was attended by 15 Band of Brother members, veterans, family members. The class was run by Sue Owens one of Help for Heroes’ Band of Sisters, a fellowship group for those who care for and support Band of Brothers.

Harriet Wilson, Band of Brothers/Sisters Coordinator North East for Help for Heroes, said: “The workshop was an opportunity for our veterans and their family members to try something different and have the opportunity to meet others in their area and to bring back some of the camaraderie which would have been lost since leaving the military.

“Some veterans can find it very difficult around Christmas so we try to provide free and enjoyable events for them to attend. The wreath making was a huge success. Not only did it successfully bring people from the Middlesbrough area together, they learnt new skills and left with a beautiful festive wreath to display over the festive season.”

For further information about Help for Heroes visit:

New Receptionist at Resource Centre

A new face has joined the team at the Resource Centre and is quickly establishing herself among the regular customers who use the facility for meetings, training, conferences and events each week.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sammi Roberts, a mum of four from Coulby Newham, has joined the facilities team as a part-time Receptionist/ Administrator, covering maternity leave for the next year. 

Sammi boasts 13 years’ work experience having embarked on a Business Admin apprenticeship, achieving NVQ Level 2 and 3, through Middlesbrough Council in 2005.  Her training led to roles within the council’s regeneration and urban policy teams.

The role at the Resource Centre marks Sammi’s return to the workplace after having her daughter last year, and she says she’s enjoying the experience so far.  She commented: “I’ve settled in well at the Resource Centre.  The team are lovely and have made me feel really at home.  I’m enjoying interacting with the different customers and making them feel welcome.  Although I’ve lots of transferrable experience from several years working with Middlesbrough Council in admin roles, I’ve enjoyed learning new things such as using SAGE to generate invoices.”

On a day-to-day basis Sammi will undertake a variety of tasks, working as part of the close-knit team.  Key aspects of the role include; ensuring the centre’s rooms are set up to meet customer requirements and that IT equipment is working correctly, meeting and greeting customers and making sure they are aware of fire regulations and know how to use the IT equipment and acting as a point of contact for customers throughout their visit to centre.  In addition, Sammi will manage email and phone enquiries and bookings for the centre as well as undertaking a variety of admin tasks.

As well as making the return to work, Sammi plans to start her NVQ Level 4 Diploma in Business and Admin in the near future.

The Resource Centre attracts a mix of bookings from local businesses and organisations, as well as community groups. For further information call 01642 255001, email or visit the website

Centre Works Out for trainers

Work IT Out, a free accredited training course designed to help people improve their basic IT skills to be better equipped to secure employment and navigate Universal Credit, continues to run every fortnight from the Resource Centre’s IT suite.

Work IT Out runs for eight days over two weeks (Tuesday to Friday) and carries two qualifications, Entry Level 3 IT and NOCN Level 1 Employability.  The course is aimed at people aged 19 plus from Middlesbrough and Stockton and course elements include navigating a computer, how to apply for and how to use Universal Credit, communication and interpersonal skills, creating a CV and cover letter, budgeting and interview preparation.

Between April and September 112 people completed either part one or both parts of the course, which also runs from the Newtown Community Resource Centre in Stockton. Up to the end of July, 24 people who had completed the course reported that they had progressed into employment, further training or volunteering/ work trials, while 97% reported feeling more confident about job searching upon completion of the course.

Paul Wales, operations director at Actes which developed and delivers Work IT Out, says: “We are pleased with the interest in Work IT Out so far, but we’re keen to secure more referrals so that we can help people in need of employability support and those who would benefit from help in navigating Universal Credit.”

Work IT Out clients have rated the Resource Centre highly in their evaluation forms with 94% scoring the facility as Very Good or Good.

Paul added: “The Resource Centre is an ideal venue to run Work IT Out from due to its on-site parking, excellent IT facilities and in-house catering.”

In addition to Work IT Out, the Resource Centre has recently attracted a number of training organisations who are delivering courses from the facility.  Organisations including Northumbria College, Aspire, Sulzer Chemtech and Working Links have all made use of the centre’s facilities in recent months.

For further information about training facilities at the Resource Centre contact 01642 255001.

Groups make Resource Centre home

The Resource Centre has become the long-term home for a number of groups running regular classes and activities in Middlesbrough.

Tees Valley Asian Welfare Forum (TVAWF), a charitable organisation offering a multi-cultural day care service to frail, elderly and disabled Asian people in Tees Valley runs five classes from the centre each week. TVAWF offers enriching activities such as light exercise, health advice, literacy sessions, discussion groups, day trips, arts and crafts such as flower arranging and knitting, gardening and aromatherapy massage for men and women. Those attending also get to enjoy a two-course meal prepared by the TVAWF team in the centre’s kitchen.

TVAWF has been based at the Resource Centre since 2007 when the organisation was founded. Mrs Raja, who runs the classes, says the facility ideally meets the needs of the group. She said: “The Resource Centre has many facilities that suit us and cater for our needs based on the type of activities we run. The gardens allow us to have our own planters to grow plants and herbs and the well-equipped kitchen enables our team to prepare a meal for the group at each session.

“Not only does it lend itself our varied activities, the venue is bright and spacious and the team are very friendly and always willing to help.  The centre also has the added benefit of on-site parking.

“We still have space for new people to join us, so anyone who would like to get involved should get in touch.”

Another longstanding customer of the Resource Centre is Destination Judo.  For the past four years the judo school has run two classes for children aged five to 15 plus a squad class for more advanced students each Tuesday from the centre’s Ford Hall. 

Craig Mitchell, a coach at Destination Judo, said: “The Resource Centre offers a great location which benefits being close to a number of local schools.”

Angie Kelly, assistant facilities manager at Actes, who is responsible for the day to day running of the Resource Centre, said: “We are delighted to have secured a number of long-term bookings from groups like the Tees Valley Asian Welfare Forum, Destination Judo and many others who run regular classes and activities. Their support means there’s plenty on offer for the local community to participate in.

“We can accommodate additional leisure and community bookings, so we would love to hear from anyone interested in setting up from our fantastic facility.”

Other activities taking place at the Resource Centre include Kumon extra tuition classes, Health Through Activity, Friendly Faces and a community bingo group.

For further information about Tees Valley Asian Welfare Forum contact 01642 765574, 07584 120211 or email

For further information about Destination Judo email

For further information about activities at the Resource Centre or room hire please call 01642 255001

Resource Centre’s training gains

The Resource Centre has experienced a surge in bookings from training companies utilising its fully-equipped rooms and IT suite. Organisations including Northumbria College, Aspire, Sulzer Chemtech and Working Links have all made use of the centre’s facilities in recent months.

Working Links has recently utilised the Resource Centre’s IT Suite to deliver its Level 1 ICT course aimed at providing learners with a basic understanding of computers including navigating the internet and email communications. Michelle Peacock, tutor at Working Links who is delivering the course, says: “We chose to deliver our Level 1 ICT course from the Resource Centre because of its IT set-up. There are not many facilities around that can provide a fully equipped IT-suite to support the delivery of a course like ours. Not only that, the staff at the centre are really friendly and helpful.”

Angie Kelly, assistant facilities manager, said: “The centre is easily accessible from all of the main road routes and is fully equipped with Wi-Fi and presentation equipment, making it an ideal environment to deliver a range of training courses from.

“I’m delighted that companies like Working Links are recognising what the Resource Centre has to offer as a training venue, and I hope that more organisations follow suit.”

For further information or to book contact the Resource Centre on 01642 255 001.

For further information about Working Links’ courses please contact 0800 3100 401.


Meet the Team – Louis Marshall

Twenty-four-year-old Louis Marshall is carving out a career in joinery since gaining employment with Actes.

Louis, who is originally from Nottingham, located to Middlesbrough to study Computer Games Animation at Teesside University before deciding on a change of direction. At this time Louis’ girlfriend was living in one of Actes’ properties where work was being undertaken, inspiring Louis to offer a helping hand.

Louis comments: “My grandad was a painter and decorator and I was always interested in his work. When I saw the work Chris and John from Actes were doing at the house I offered to help out and I really enjoyed doing it and realised that joinery and carpentry was the direction I wanted to go in.”

Recognising that he needed some support with employability skills, Louis then signed up to the New Directions Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), one of Actes’ delivery programmes, where he received a wealth of support to set him up for entering the workplace. His youth advocate Carl helped him to secure his Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and encouraged him to take on a volunteering role within Actes’ facilities team.

When an opportunity arose through Talent Match to fund the role, Louis was appointed as assistant caretaker with a responsibility for supporting the maintenance of the organisation’s two business and community centres, the Resource Centre and the Acklam Green Centre, as well as Actes’ housing stock.

Louis’ day-to-day tasks are mainly focused at the Resource Centre where he is involved in maintaining the gardens so they’re in pristine condition ready to host a variety of events and activities and tidying and setting up rooms. With guidance from site facilities worker Chris Wilson, Louis is also getting the chance to gain experience in more technical tasks within the properties, such as creating a decked patio; work which supports the Joinery Level 2 qualification he’s currently undertaking with Learning Curve. 

Louis commented: “Chris has been a great motivator and mentor and has given me the opportunity to work on more challenging projects. He has taught me plenty of tips and tricks of the trade and a good work ethic which I will be able to carry forward into my future career.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my time with Actes; the people are very motivating and are giving me a push in the right direction and I love the projects and making a difference in the local community where I live. I hope in future to develop a career in fine woodworking and furniture making, and my time with Actes is giving me some great experience that will set me off on the right path.”

Celebrate good times at Resource Centre

The Resource Centre continues to be a draw for party bookings in Middlesbrough. The centre’s 90 capacity Ford Hall has private access to beautifully maintained gardens and a patio area, which have been preened ready to host children’s birthdays, weddings and cultural celebrations this summer.

Last month the centre hosted a teambuilding event for over 40 Actes staff which included a business update, awards ceremony, quiz and a three-course meal, and the centre is geared up to host similar events during the school holidays, and all year round.

Angie Kelly, assistant facilities manager, said: “With our large hall, gardens, kitchen and on-site parking, the Resource Centre is the ideal venue to ensure celebration events are successful and memorable.”

For booking enquiries contact the Resource Centre events team on 01642 255 001.

Community Gardening Group Blossoms

A group of green fingered residents have got the gardening bug at the Resource Centre, as part of an initiative to unite the local community by growing produce and flowers.

The gardening club has recently began meeting at the Meath Street facility each Friday afternoon to plan projects in the Linthorpe and Gresham communities, and grow an array of produce in the centre’s greenhouse including tomato plants, courgettes, broad beans, French beans and more. 

The club, which comprises a core group of eight residents, is an offshoot of the alleyways co-operative established five years ago to encourage people to take pride in their area. The gardening club hopes to support the homeless café and is currently planning community improvement projects including a hanging basket scheme in the Essex Street and Harford Street alleyway, entering the annual Gresham in Bloom initiative and a partnership with the local Police Community Support Officers to develop an allotment garden and alley space to help tackle anti-social behaviour and provide residents with a safe and beautiful shared community space.

The gardening club is led by Catherine Howell who previously worked with Middlesbrough Environment City’s One Planet Middlesbrough project, which was designed to engage Middlesbrough residents in actions that promote sustainable living and behaviours.

Commenting on the Resource Centre gardening club, Catherine said: “The Resource Centre is an ideal base for the gardening group to meet. The outdoor space and centre facilities are fantastic and the staff are very welcoming and supportive. Not only that, the centre’s location in the heart of the community works really well for us.

“We look forward to meeting at the centre each week to grow produce in the greenhouse and to plan projects designed to enhance the communities where we all live and to bring people together by growing food.”

Angie Kelly, assistant facilities manager at Actes who looks after the Resource Centre, said: “The Resource Centre’s community gardens and greenhouse are ideal for the local gardening club to meet. We’re pleased to provide them with a base to plan projects and grow produce that ultimately benefit the local community. At the same time their work helps to maintain the gardens here which are available to hire for all kinds of events and functions.”

The gardening club also meets and grows plants and different types of produce at Newport Community Hub and at the People’s Park Community Allotment in Gresham to encourage people from across the area to engage with shared spaces for growing fruit and veg in their local communities.

For further information about the gardening club contact Catherine Howell by emailing or visit the gardeners’ Facebook page Alley Pals Middlesbrough or visit the Gresham Community Garden Facebook page @greshamcommunitygarden for more about growing spaces in the ward.

For further information about the hiring the Resource Centre’s interior and exterior space contact 01642 255001

Meet the Team – Chris Wilson

In the twelve years since securing his role at Actes, formerly the West Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Trust (WMNT), site facilities worker Chris Wilson has proved to be able to turn his hand to anything from plumbing to decorating and joinery to landscaping, and now he is passing on this expertise to the organisation’s newest member of staff.

Having initially been employed by WMNT as one of the caretakers responsible for the physical transformation of the West Middlesbrough area, Chris was integrated into Actes’ facilities team in 2014 with a responsibility for the maintenance of its two business and community centres, the Acklam Green Centre and Resource Centre, as well as the organisation’s housing stock.

Chris’s role currently revolves around the Resource Centre and Actes’ 10 houses, working as part of team of four alongside Actes’ assistant facilities manager, receptionist/ administrator and assistant caretaker, to ensure the facility and properties remain in prime condition for customers and tenants.

Over the past four years, the former fabricator/ welder from Redcar has proved to be a valuable asset to Actes’ team of site facilities operatives, taking on a range of tasks which on a day-to-day basis include everything from setting up rooms for meeting and events to maintaining the centres gardens, grounds and sports pitches and doing decorating, repair and maintenance work at the centres and residential properties.  Chris is called upon to undertake a variety of jobs on behalf of Actes, and notable projects include building the organisation’s Trending shop unit at Riverside Park, the base for the charity’s new-concept clothing bank and building a self-contained meeting space at Actes’ head office.

Chris comments: “My role with Actes has involved using the skills I gained in my employment as a welder and fabricator and applying them in a different way. It’s nice to do something different and it’s the variety that I enjoy most about the role, that and working with a great team and getting to know the regular customers who come into the centre. It’s a really friendly and sociable environment to work in.”

Chris has recently completed a project at one of the houses to overhaul one of the property’s gardens, including creating a decked patio area, alongside Louis Marshall an assistant caretaker funded through the Talent Match project.  The project has provided an opportunity for Chris to mentor Louis who is hoping to pursue a career in joinery. Chris has provided on-the-job training and support to at least six young people during his time with Actes.

Chris says: “Louis is very hardworking and enthusiastic member of staff and it’s a pleasure to be able to pass on the skills I’ve learnt during the course of my career to help someone who is starting out in theirs.  He is a quick learner and very capable, as he showed during the recent project to create a patio and decking. I’ll continue to coach him and ensure he has the chance to learn as much as possible from the rest of his time at Actes. I’ve no doubt he’ll go on to have a fantastic career.”

Meet the Team – Jessica Hall Receptionist/ Administrator

Over the past six years Receptionist/ Administrator Jessica Hall has established herself as a key part of the team responsible for the day-to-day running of the Resource Centre, and a familiar face among the regular groups and new customers that use the facility for meetings, conferences, events and activities each week.

Jessica began her employment with Actes as a casual receptionist, acting as a main point of contact at both the Resource Centre and sister facility the Acklam Green Centre, before securing a permanent contract at the Meath Street based facility two years ago.

Prior to gaining employment with Actes, the 27-year-old from Redcar had gained customer relations experience in a role with Virgin Media and as a waitress, which she has been able to build-upon in her varied role with Actes.

Working as part of a close-knit team, Jessica’s day-to-day responsibilities include; ensuring the centre’s rooms are set up in the layout requested by the customer and that IT equipment is working correctly, meeting and greeting customers and making sure they are aware of fire regulations and know how to use the IT equipment and acting as a point of contact for customers throughout their visit to centre. In addition, Jessica manages all email and phone enquiries and bookings for the centre and showcases the facilities to potential customers when requested.  The role also involves event planning for celebrations such as children’s parties and weddings, something which she has put into practice for her own daughter’s fifth birthday party.

The Resource Centre attracts a mix of bookings from local businesses and organisations, as well as community groups such as the Tees Valley Asian Welfare Forum, the Health Through Activity over 60s exercise group, Destination Judo and Kumon extra tuition classes. Jessica says that it is building positive relationships with customers that is the most rewarding part of the job. 

She commented: “Dealing with customers is what I enjoy most about the job. The Resource Centre attracts lots of regular groups, so I get to meet lots of lovely customers week in week out who I’ve got to know and built a rapport with.  I also enjoy meeting new customers and ensuring they have a great experience and choose to re-book their meetings and events here.”

Jessica works closely alongside centre manager Angie Kelly, site facilities worker Chris Wilson and Apprentice Assistant Caretaker Louis Marshall, she says that having such a supportive team is another positive aspect of the job. She commented: “We all work really well together to meet the needs of customers. It’s also nice having other members of the Actes team based in the centre, working on other projects to help local people. It’s a really good place to work.”

Over the course of the past two years Jessica has undertaken on-the-job training including an NVQ Level 2 in Business Admin and a range of other courses including first aid and conflict management to support her role.  Outside of work she keeps busy looking after her five-year-old daughter and is getting ready to expand her family with a new baby due at the end of the year.