National Lottery Support For The Treasure Group

Published: 30th January 2019

The Treasure Group at The Customs House has had some fantastic news to kick of 2019. The Customs House has been awarded nearly £10,000 of National Lottery from the Big Lottery Fund.

National Lottery Funded - Big Lottery Awards for All Logo

This funding is to run three term-time creative projects with Looked After Children. They will work alongside professional artists and also visit arts events like theatre performances. Children taking part will also have the chance to achieve a nationally recognised qualification Arts Award.

Elizabeth Kane Learning Officer met with Linda Yeo before Christmas. Linda is a Funding Officer from the Big Lottery Fund. Together they talked about the work of The Treasure Group. The Treasure Group is the name for creative projects at The Customs House ran for Looked After Children (Children who are fostered or have experience living in care).

Our Work With Looked After Children

The Customs House has ran projects for Looked After Children since 2010. Originally this work was part of a national pilot with Arts Council England and was supported by South Tyneside Council Fostering Services and The PLACE (The Project for Looked After Children’s Education). Work with Looked After Children continued thanks to various trusts, foundations and other supported.

Linda advised The Customs House apply for a National Lottery Awards for All which awards grants of up to £10,000 from money raised by players of the National Lottery. For more info see

The funding decision came through last week.

Elizabeth Kane said,

“I was so happy we were successful! Writing the bid we talked about how this project will really develop Looked After Children’s confidence and self-belief. They, like all young people, can make great work and achieve great things.

We also want our community to celebrate their achievements. After each project we will have a showcase event sharing what they have achieved. So, if they do a visual art project we would host an exhibition. If they do a writing project we might make publish a book. It all depends on what they want to do.”

Elizabeth will be working closely with Sarah Hamblin Senior Practitioner at The PLACE sharing information about the project with children and their carers. 

Thanks to National Lottery Players

Elizabeth Kane said,

“It’s fantastic. The Big Lottery Fund has given us an incredible opportunity to work with children over a year and make a positive difference to them as individuals and our community. I want to say thanks to National Lottery players every time you buy a National Lottery ticket, you help make this happen. This year long programme will start in March.

It will be interesting to see if The Treasure Group want to try out a totally new artform like writing, dance or clay… or build on something they have already tried.”

In 2018/19 The Treasure group have had the chance to try out different arts activities including:

  • Animation with Sheila Graber thanks to The Rotary Club of Jarrow with Harton;
  • Painting with David Wilkinson thanks to The Children’s Foundation;
  • ‘Custom Book’ Exploring local heritage through photography with Nicola Maxwell The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

If you have any questions about this project email Elizabeth Kane Learning Officer