Newcastle United Foundation to partner with charity operating Hirst Welfare Centre in Ashington

Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme has announced it will partner with the Newcastle United Foundation after taking over operating Hirst Welfare Centre.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Active Northumberland currently runs Hirst Welfare, but will be wound up at the end of March after Northumberland County Council opted to award the contract to run the county’s leisure centres to an external company.

Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme is the charity that owns Hirst Welfare, and it will assume responsibility for operating the community hub, which is much loved in the local area, from April.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The group is working with the Newcastle United Foundation, which will have a permanent space within the centre, on events programmes for the coming months.

Brian Shotton was appointed as development manager in October to oversee the transition. (Photo by Brian Shotton)Brian Shotton was appointed as development manager in October to oversee the transition. (Photo by Brian Shotton)
Brian Shotton was appointed as development manager in October to oversee the transition. (Photo by Brian Shotton)

Brian Shotton, centre development manager at Hirst Welfare, said: “We are delighted to embark on this journey with the Newcastle United Foundation.

“Together, we aim to create inclusive programs and initiatives that will resonate with individuals of all ages and backgrounds, fostering a sense of belonging and pride within our community.”

Dan Hancock, programme manager at the Newcastle United Foundation, said: "The Hirst Welfare Centre has been a key asset to Ashington residents for many years and we are delighted to strengthen our commitment to supporting North East communities by opening a dedicated Newcastle United Foundation space within the centre.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We are excited to work in partnership with Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme to provide opportunities for everyone to explore employability, personal development and health and wellbeing programmes delivered by our charity.

"Ashington is a community proud of its roots and with the relaunch of the Hirst Welfare Centre, we can now look forward to ensuring a brighter future for residents here."

The focus of Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme trustees is currently ensuring a smooth transition from Active Northumberland’s stewardship of the centre. There will be uninterrupted access to Hirst Welfare during the handover period.

Chair of the trustees, Ian Lavery MP, said: “We understand the significance of the Hirst Welfare within our community. Our priority is to carefully assess the current operations of the centre and introduce additional services that align with the evolving needs and aspirations of our residents.”