ESF Small Grants Programme 2014/15
Iain Kay was contracted to be a Co-Ordinator for this programme by County Durham Community Foundation. He supported 65 groups across both Northumberland and Tyne & Wear as they accessed grants worth up to £15,000 to deliver education, training and employability skill to over 2,000 people disadvantaged in the labour market.
ESF Technical Assistance
Iain Kay and Barbara McClennan were board members of an organisation called ESFVON that for almost 20 years offered assistance to community and voluntary groups to access and manage European funded projects in the North East of England.
When ESFVON closed in March 2010 it was agreed that Riverside Consulting CIC would continue to offer this expertise to local organisations even though core funding was uncertain. ESFVON supported hundreds of projects which were funded to contribute to the creation and sustainability of many hundreds of jobs, the training of tens of thousands of individuals and the building or refurbishment of countless community facilities.
In 2010/11 Riverside Consulting CIC went into partnership with VONNE to deliver a reduced level of ESF Technical Assistance (TA) to groups in the region but as almost all of the available European funding was devolved to regional bodies rather than local councils and local organisations, it became increasingly obvious that many smaller groups that had accessed ESF/ERDF funds over many years would no longer be able to do so. The era of large, Prime Contractors who would choose and appoint their own supply chains had arrived.
Work With Offenders
Iain and Jeffrey have been involved in the criminal justice system for over fifty years between them, working within the probation and prison sectors as specialist managers delivering careers guidance, education, training and diversionary activities and then working for partner agencies and most recently as specialist consultants.
Iain and Jeffrey worked with a consortium in the North East region that raised the ability of voluntary sector organisations to allow them to be part of possible supply chains for future Ministry of Justice contracts and for work that has traditionally been delivered by the public sector. Their role was in progressing capacity building opportunities and developing an appropriate legal structure for the consortium demonstrating robustness within a bidding process.