Natwest Skills & Opportunities Fund

You know from our previous Blog posts, our Twitter feed and our Facebook pages that one project that we run here at Silx that is very popular is our 1st Step drop in which runs on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Read about 1st Step in detail here: ) As a charity we rely on funding to keep this project going. A few months ago we applied to the Natwest/RBS Skills and Opportunities fund for a grant of £25,000 that will go towards the running of our 1st step sessions, we were overjoyed to find out yesterday that we have been short-listed to the final 15 in the North Region- which in itself is a great achievement. In order for us to secure the funding we NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

To get the grant we need our supporters to vote for us, and the project with the most votes when the campaign closes at 12 noon on Friday 19th June will get the money. Below you will see a link, please click this link and vote for Silx- but don’t stop there we need you to share it with your friends, post it on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, shout it from the rooftops if you need to-  We are so passionate about helping the Youth of Blyth so please get on board and help us out the more support we get the more chance we have of getting the Funding- Thank you in Advance….


Thank you in Advance from all of the Staff and Young People 🙂




Keighleigh’s Journey- Case Study

keighleigh case study

Keighleigh regularly attends our 1st Step and Teen Bar sessions. Keighleigh was born with a congenital heart disorder has been through heart surgery and left school with no qualifications due to being in hospital a lot. After attending Silx and with support of workers who encouraged her and built up her confidence Keighleigh is now employed at Newcastle United Football Club and is studying Animal Care at Kirkley Hall College! Keighleigh was recently nominated  at the Northumberlands Finest awards and was given a local Northumberland heroes award for over coming barriers and she was also awarded the Young Volunteer Award at this Years Projects with Pride. Well Done Keighleigh 🙂 


Keighleigh with her Volunteer of the year award

Keighleigh with her Volunteer of the year award

WE WON!- Projects with Pride

Last night we took 6 young people to the Holiday Inn at Seaton Burn which was the venue for the Projects with Pride Awards hosted by the Northumberland clubs for young people. All of the young people were very excited, especially Keighleigh Cozens who was nominated for the Young Volunteer award. The evening was fabulous, with a guest speaker from Capital Radio and great entertainment courtesy of Bad Apples and Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project.

Then comes the best bit…… WE WON! We are so pleased to tell you that our 1st Step Employability Project which we run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 12-3 was Awarded the Large Project with Pride Award and Keighleigh Cozens was given the Young Volunteer of the Year award! We are so pleased that our project that helped 53 young people gain employment last year was recognised for the fabulous work that takes place in our little building in Blyth every week! We are also so proud of Keighleigh, she has overcome so many barriers in her life and been through so much and now she is a confident young lady who works hard to get to where she wants to be! (see our case study blog post all about Keighleigh’s journey here-

Northumberland Clubs for Young People put on an amazing event and all of our young people had a Brilliant time, it was great to see all of the other projects from Northumberland in one place celebrating all of the inspiring work that goes on for young people in our fantastic county!

Keighleigh Cozens- Volunteer of the year

Keighleigh Cozens- Volunteer of the year



Award Winning 1st Step Project

We are more than just a Teen Bar here at Silx…… Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday 12-3pm we run our 1st Step employability session. During these Award winning sessions we help young people create a CV,  carry out a Job Search, fill out job applications, complete online training. Our team of fully qualified Youth Workers and our in house IAG worker are on hand every session of offer advice and provide support around issues of employability, training, money, housing, health and any other issues that the 16-25 year olds that attend the session are experiencing.

Our ultimate goal during these sessions is to help the young people get back into education or to find work but we don’t run a strict ‘classroom’ environment, instead our approach is more relaxed. The young people do use the sessions to get themselves work ready but they also come in to see friends, have a hot drink, chat to workers and a lot of young people build on their confidence and their other skills whilst they are with us….