Supporting projects to help those on the fringes get back into work
PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:03 08 September 2018
Voluntary and community projects in Suffolk and Norfolk supporting more than 500 people to find a job or become work ready, have received £200,000 in grants.
Ten organisations successfully pitched for up to £20,000 from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Community Challenge Fund for their projects, which offer volunteering and work skill development.
In its three previous funding rounds the LEP scheme has worked with 30 organisations whose projects have helped 279 people into paid employment.
The cash is distributed by the Norfolk and Suffolk Community Foundations.
Previous back-to-work projects have covered sectors including construction, catering, sport, farming, music and media production.
Among the charities to benefit are the Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau, Suffolk Refugee Support, Green Light Trust in West Suffolk, the Benjamin Foundation in north Norfolk, Kickstart Norfolk, the East Anglia Anchorage Trust in Great Yarmouth, and Voluntary Norfolk.
The organisations have a wide remit, helping the long-term unemployed, the disabled, asylum seekers, former homeless people and others who are out of work to develop the skills and experience to act as a stepping stone into employment.
The East Anglian Anchorage Trust helps get homeless people off the streets. Some are already sleeping rough, while some are sofa-surfing after being asked to leave the family home.
The charity works with landlords and provides shared housing for people aged 18 to 30.
A spokesman said: “Without a home address it is difficult to get job, go to college or get an apprenticeship.
“Parents may have asked them to leave the family home. With a home they can enter college, or get a job, and get their lives back.”
Doug Field, New Anglia LEP chairman, said: “This, the fourth year of the Community Challenge Fund, follows a new funding pledge from the LEP board. I’m delighted to see the quality of this year’s projects repaying the board’s faith.
“Inclusive growth is a key theme of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy.
“The work of these projects is vital in achieving our aims, and to the hundreds of people they’re helping get into work or to become work ready.”