Northumbrian Water funding boost for ex-offenders’ environmental work

A social enterprise that employs young ex-offenders to work on environmental projects across Northumberland has received a £5,000 grant from Northumbrian Water.

By Joshua Wright
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 1:03 pm

The funding for The Skill Mill was provided through the company’s ‘Branch Out’ environmental fund to support the work of four young people and a supervisor through the summer.

Working with Northumberland Rivers Trust, the young people employed by the social enterprise will carry out a range of activities which aim to improve the habitat around rivers, streams and other watercourses in the county.

Having been established in the North East in 2013, The Skill Mill’s model aims to provide employment for young ex-offenders.

Ex-offenders employed by The Skill Mill carry out environmental work.

Its model has since expanded beyond the North East, having been adopted in other parts of the UK to create what is described as a ‘network of support.’

The Skill Mill provides services which contribute to protection against environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution.

Young ex-offenders are also able to give guided nature walks, which allow them to share their knowledge of the natural world with members of the public.

David Parks, managing director at The Skill Mill, said: “We have a great relationship with Northumbrian Water, on a business level as well as on a personal level with members of the team who give their time to help.

“Funding like this grant from the Branch Out programme is vital to helping us to continue supporting young ex-offenders and, with work like this, delivering activities that benefit the environment.”

For more information on ‘Branch Out’, visit