The Thorn Project

Rose Education Foundation Supported Project in Thornaby

The Rose Education Foundation is really pleased to support the Thorn Project, which works with young people in Thornaby, seeking to reach, support and help them both practically and personally. As part of the wider ministry, grant funding from the Rose Education Foundation was given to specifically develop the work of the Homework Club and the Lunch Club.

For some young people, home isn’t always the best place for them to complete their homework, so the Thorn Project provides a safe, quiet, professional environment where they can work. Given the challenge it can be to keep young people focussed, the Homework Club runs an incentive-based scheme to intentionally engage the young people in their education. Good behaviour and consistent attendance at the weekly club gives young people the chance to join in with trips each half term. These trips seek to be fun and active, but also help to be educational and build self-esteem in the young people as they take part.

The Thorn Project co-ordinator, Pete Madden, explains that the grant funding from the Rose Education Foundation has been used for learning equipment and resources, and also covers transport costs for the trips.

The funding has paid for things that there’s no way we would have been able to do otherwise, so it’s been a massive blessing.


The other aspect of the project that grant funding has facilitated is the Lunch Club, which is led by Paula Madden. A high percentage of young people in Thornaby receive free school meals – one school has at least 95% of students as part of this scheme – so it can be tough for parents in school holidays. Lunch Club provides filling, healthy and hot meals to young people on every weekday during every holiday time. Once a week the meal is based around something the young people can make themselves, equipping them with skills they may not otherwise gain.

The grant funding was used to cover almost the entire cost of food for the full six-week summer holiday, and also helped the project purchase much-needed utensils and suitable crockery for young people.

Pete and Paula live in Thornaby and have developed strong and significant relationships with many young people and their families. They have seen a real progression in many young people through their engagement in Homework Club and Lunch Club and believe the project is making a vital impact in their lives, especially those that desperately need these resources.

We’ve seen a real progression with some of the young people; they often come and knock on the door to talk to us. It’s great to see them… We know that some of the neediest families in the area have benefited from lunch club, we know that they really need it and it’s great we can help them in this way.


The Thorn Project continues to grow and is now working with other agencies and wider youthwork organisations to develop the work with young people in Thornaby, specifically focussed on targeting specific issues and seeking to encourage aspirations in the young people there.

We want to provide a safe environment for young people to develop, and offer positive role models and activities to encourage and inspire them.

Pete and Paula

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