A CHARITY which helps get people back into the workplace has joined a national organisation in the hope of being able access more opportunities to increase the programmes it offers.

Step Forward Tees Valley, which helps people looking for employment in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland and Hartlepool, has been transferred to Humankind.

The programme works with people who are both long-term unemployed and those who have recently lost their jobs and will continue to operate as normal.

It was previously part of the Northern Inclusion Consortium, which included other North-East charities including Changing Lives and Groundwork North East and Cumbria and Mental Health Concern.

A spokesperson for the Step Forward Tees Valley said the move would hopefully allow it to take advantage of more opportunities.

Step Forward Tees Valley programme manager Andrea Johnson said: “We are delighted to become part of Humankind, and in doing so we will provide continuity of services to the people of Tees Valley.

"This year has brought so many challenges and the opportunity to become part of an organisation with a deep commitment to support and meet people’s complex health and social needs, means that we can continue to help local people when they need it most."

The Northern Inclusion Consortium ceased trading on October 1 and an application to dissolve the company will be made at the end of the tax year.

Step Forward Tees Valley is a Building Better Opportunities programme funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

The aim of the programme is to support people in the Tees Valley region who are out of work, move towards and secure employment, removing the multiple and complex issues that prevent them from realising their full potential.

It works with about 15 partner organisations, including the Citizen's Advice Bureau, to provide a range of support.

To find out more about the organisation call 01325 529210 or visit www.sfteesvalley.co.uk.