A SCHEME to hire out scooters to help unemployed people back to work has been awarded extra funding.

The Wheels To Work scheme, based in Chester-le-Street, has been awarded just over £24,500 from the Virgin Money Foundation.

The project tries to help young people get into work, training or education that would otherwise not be possible due to poor public transport by loaning them a scooter and training them to ride it.

The grant will be used to employ staff to operate the project across the county.

Feisal Jassat, Chairman of Wheels to Work County Durham said: “We are really excited about this award, which will enable the Wheels to Work Project to offer support to young people across County Durham.

“It will particularly help those living in rural and isolated areas, enabling them to realise their ambitions and to take up job opportunities which otherwise may not have been possible owing to poor public transport.”

“We know that this scheme enables people not only to take up employment opportunities but also to be better socially connected to friends, family and the wider community, and this too will be so important to the new beneficiaries of the scheme.”

Nancy Doyle, frrom Virgin Money Foundation said: “Tackling the root causes of disadvantage is key to regenerating communities.”