A life changing programme

“The Victory Programme has been life changing, I have been able to half my weekly shop and make sure my kids are well fed. It’s life skills no one ever taught me” said Melanie, one of the first graduates from the Vicory Programme.

In 2017, The Kavli Trust committed to supporting The Victory Project ran by The Salvation Army in Blaydon, near our Primula factory in Gateshead. Blaydon is located within the top ten percent of the most deprived areas in the UK and North East England. The project teaches families soft skills and tips for surviving on tight budgets.


The Kavli Trust attended the last session of the first group to attend the programme in Blaydon. 

The support that The Kavli Trust provided will be used to teach people in the local area how to grow vegetables, cook healthy low cost meals, and techniques to make their money go further. Over three years around 100 people will go through the programme that is modelled on war time rationing and aims to boost confidence, teach life skills and bring the community together.

“The Victory Programme has been life changing, I have been able to half my weekly shop and make sure my kids are well fed. It’s life skills no one ever taught me” said Melanie, member of the first cohort to graduate the programme.


Melanie with her certificate of achievement. 

The Salvation Army provide a weekly programme that includes simple, but effective activities such as: taste testing branded vs unbranded products, a weekly group cooking session and time dedicated to sharing money saving tips. One participant has attributed all of her children eating the same meal as huge progress resulting from The Victory Programme.

Over the six weeks course the participants were asked to evaluate their progress and wellbeing. The results showed that all of the members from the first group saw their confidence grow and new friendships were formed, which will continue outside of the programme. An attendee credited the six weeks course for giving her purpose to leave the house and making new friends for herself and her children.

“I was scared to go to the first session, I hadn’t really left the house in weeks and didn’t talk to people. Allison and the girls were so friendly, we are going to continue talking and meeting after the project is over”


The Victory Programme uses recipes from the Second World War to show people how to make their food go further. 

Allison Ellis is one of the project coordinators at the course.

For the families that The Victory Project support experimenting with new foods and recipes is not an option. Disposable income is rare so trying food that may not be eaten is seen as a waste of money that is greatly needed elsewhere.

“The Salvation Army have created an environment that’s warm, friendly and judgement free that allows the participants to experiment and discover new experiences,” said General Manager at the Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen.

After each session participants take home their efforts and can eat the meals throughout the week with their families.

With the support from the Kavli Trust, The Salvation Army is taking holistic approach to improving the lives of children in the North East of England. By giving parents the tools they need to feed their children nutritious meals, budget according to their income and save for treats improves the well-being of the whole family.

“Many of the people who undertook the six week course also benefitted from other Kavli supported projects like The Sage. At the Kavli Trust we are proud to be making a difference in Blaydon and Gateshead,” said Inger Elise Iversen.

All photos by Hanne Eide Andersen/The Kavli Trust 


Allison, one of the coordinators, Inger Elise from the Kavli Trust and Kristy. 


Participant Katrine receives her certificate of achievements from Inger Elise Iversen.