THE support of a North-East charity by a group of chemical companies has led to the creation of eight full time jobs for young people over the past year.

Six firms at the Wilton International site donated £12,000 to the Redcar Development Trust (RDT) in 2013 and the money has been used by social entrepreneur Frankie Wales and his team to fund a number of initiatives with multiple benefits to the community.

Initiatives launched by RDT at Coatham Memorial Hall have included Intergenerational Days (pictured) bringing socially isolated older people together with young people for monthly functions and a Fit to Work scheme giving jobless young people an understanding of the attitudes, disciplines and behaviours expected in the workplace.

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Now, eight of ten youngsters who regularly attended have found permanent employment with strong hope that the remaining two will find positions this year.

Mr Wales said: “It’s a great result and I am extremely grateful to the Wilton firms for their support as it shows how a relatively small amount can have a big impact when used effectively.”

The firms involved were Sabic, Sembcorp, Huntsman, Ensus, Lotte Chemical UK and GDF Suez.

Sembcorp also donated employee time and expertise to RDT and arranged for contract firms such as SPIE WHS, Edmundson Electrical, Ferguson Roofing, JJ Plant Hire, Fabricom, RC Ayres, CIS Northern, Interserve, A-Plant, RAK and others to get involved, including giving time and skills to various types of building assessment work and repairs at the historic hall, formerly part of Sir William Turner’s School.