In 1973, a charitable organisation was established to provide support for homeless, vulnerable and isolated people across Tyneside.
Tyne Housing Association is the third incarnation of that organisation, which was originally named Carr Gomm Tyneside. The Carr Gomm Society was founded by Sir Richard Carr-Gomm, a philanthropist committed to fighting inequalities and making a difference in society.
Fifty years later, Tyne Housing has never strayed far from that mission and has supported thousands of people across Tyneside to get to a better place through support, housing, healthcare, training and investment in communities.
Tyne Housing existed as Carr Gomm Tyneside until 1991, running a small number of shared housing projects alongside workshop and training facilities. It then developed into Byker Bridge Housing Association and grew a range of services, before registering as Tyne Housing Association in 2010 to reflect its expansion into five local authorities across Tyneside.
Today, Tyne Housing employs over 100 staff members and supports more than 1,000 vulnerable people every year, with 447 homes across the region made up of shared houses, specialist supported houses and self-contained flats.
Steve McKinlay, chief executive of Tyne Housing, said: “It’s quite a challenge to sum up just how impactful Tyne has been for the region over the last 50 years, but our latest Social Impact Report shows that we provide a positive social return in all areas of our work.
“During the last five decades, Tyne’s work has evolved and expanded, but one thing that has never changed is our belief in people. We recognise that everyone has a unique story and life experience, and we believe in their strength and courage to get to a better place.”
The organisation prides itself on the relationships it builds with people, and housing is just the starting point to addressing health inequalities and the complex challenges faced by residents.
Whether it’s providing help to break an addiction, supporting someone who is experiencing mental health challenges or helping to build skills for the future, Tyne provides stability and safety for its residents, fostering an environment where they are able to take small steps to transform their lives.
Tyne works with a number of key partners across the region to deliver its services. One such service is the Joseph Cowen Health Centre, which is run in partnership with North East and North Cumbria ICB and Newcastle Council.
The centre exists to ensure people who are experiencing homelessness or who are not registered with a GP can have access to primary healthcare and support services. Throughout 2022/ 23, the health centre supported 824 individuals.
Another service Tyne runs in collaboration with Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is Westbridge Mental Health Resettlement Service. Founded in 2002, this service responds to the need for housing with specialist support for adults who have been discharged from secure mental health hospitals, or prison, with the aim of helping with integration back into the community.
Carol Egdell, Business Development Manager at Tyne Housing, said: “Tyne provides a diverse range of services, all designed to help people thrive, and what sets us apart is our commitment to putting the power of transformation in the hands of our residents.
“We believe in listening to the voices of those we serve, which is why our residents play an integral role in shaping the support they receive, ensuring it’s tailored to their individual needs.”
Tyne also strives to be an organisation which provides learning and development opportunities to the people who use its services. It delivers a range of activities and accredited training courses, including creative cookery sessions, woodworking, music production, creative writing and more.
Earlier this year, Tyne was commissioned by Urban Green Newcastle to create wooden benches and a nature-themed sculpture for display in Exhibition Park. This project was one of many that residents can get involved in at the workshop.
As part of Tyne’s commitment to supporting the North East’s most vulnerable people, it also invests in the communities it serves to make the region a better place for everyone.
Since 2010, Ouseburn Farm – a working community farm open to local residents – has been a subsidiary of Tyne Housing. It is also a charity in its own right and supports vulnerable adults by offering placements and volunteering opportunities across the farm.
Steve McKinlay added: “Our unwavering commitment to those most vulnerable brings its challenges, but our driving force is in when we witness the remarkable outcomes and transformation in the lives of the people we support.
“I am especially proud to be part of this important organisation as we celebrate this milestone and embark on the next 50 years of better support, better opportunities and getting people to a better place.”