Queen Bee ran from 2010 to 2011 and is SIFE Newcastle’s first completed project. The aim of Queen Bee was to tackle benefit dependency, promote enterprise and help to make Sure Start centres less grant dependent so that they can continue to provide educational visits for the children.
As North Tyneside and Gateshead are two of the most deprived areas in the North-East, this is where we decided to focus our attention. In North Tyneside, we worked with parent and carer groups at Sure Start centres in Howdon and Wallsend, sharing our experience of starting our own business, Queen Bee Candles. We transferred business knowledge and skills by designing and delivering a series of workshops. In addition to North Tyneside, we also worked in partnership with Gateshead Council to deliver pitching workshops for its ‘Dragons Don’t Bite’ programme with 18 beneficiaries in total.
- We transferred the knowledge of running our own business through a comprehensive and interactive learning experience which resulted in both centres selling rolled beeswax candles at school fairs, in local businesses and at the centres.
- The income generated allowed the Parents of Wallsend to organise a trip to Hadrian’s Wall for the children who attend the centre.
- Two of the women are now pursuing self-employment.
- In Wallsend, two of the beneficiaries are now delivering our workshops to other community groups through their Adult Learning Programme.