An organisation helping people set up their own business or find work has celebrated a major milestone.
In the last five years, Remploy has supported 100,000 people into employment.
And staff have been celebrating the milestone with some of those they have helped.
Adam and Alex Fagan were given help setting up and developing their Crate Digger Records business, which is approaching its first anniversary.
The store sells vinyl singles and albums after being supported by Remploy’s employment advisor Joanne Mclauchlin.
Adam said: “It’s been extremely exciting and as expected full of ups and downs but by utilising whatever help we could get and being extremely driven to achieve and exceed any goals we had set for ourselves we’ve managed to create something we are very proud of.
“Joanne has been extremely helpful and instrumental in helping to manage the ups and downs and keep everything on track. Without the help she has provided there’s no doubt that it wouldn’t have been possible to make this idea a reality.”
Elsewhere, Sharon Heatherington and Debbie Payne were given support to set up florist shop Gyp & Green in Shiremoor.
Sharon said: “We would like to say Remploy have been a massive support to us, from the first meeting with Joanne we have had unlimited support and encouragement.
“Remploy has helped us with many aspects of getting our business off the ground. They also understand that opening the doors to your business is just the start of the hard work and since the start of trading in August their ongoing support means has meant so much to us.”
Joanne said: “It has been a privilege helping people overcome their personal barriers into self employment and watching their business grow.
“I am very passionate about self employment and thoroughly enjoy sharing my skills and expertise with local people to make a difference to their lives.”
Kay Harrington-Kemper, business manager at Remploy, added: “This is a great example of Remploy’s vision in supporting people into sustainable employment.
“I am delighted to see that in their first six months in business Sharon and Debbie have a flourishing business in Shiremoor and it is going from strength to strength.
“Sharon and Debbie are just two of the 100,000 candidates that Remploy have supported into employment since 2010.”