King’s Lynn charity the Purfleet Trust set to open new training academy

New venture awarded �50,000 grant for Fairstead project

A King's Lynn charity is opening a new training academy in the town after receiving a �50,000 grant.

The Purfleet Trust will be using premises on the town's Fairstead estate to open a new charity shop, vintage tea rooms and catering academy all designed to help people get into work.

The project will see 12 people a month taken onto the courses which will offer a range of NVQ or City and Guilds qualifications in skills from hospitality to retail.

Chief executive at the Purfleet Trust, Paula Hall, said the long-term aim would be to see their clients finding work outside of the scheme to become self-supporting.

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The trust works with homeless people and the numbers it is dealing with are on the increase.

'We see about 80 people a day and that is increasing as the number of people presenting as homeless increases,' said Mrs Hall.

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Changes to the welfare system and the increasing costs of accommodation are adding to the problem.

'Those that we are working with have not got the confidence to go to a college and they have additional issues. Many of them are very disadvantaged and we offer a safe environment with support for them,' said Mrs Hall.

'We are seeing more people now with welfare reform and changes to benefits. Some of them are facing sanctions which is causing a lot more worry. We also have people who are from perhaps three generations of joblessness and have no concept of working or routine,' she added.

The Trust is also working with ex-offenders who often face discrimination within the workplace.

'There is a perception that people do not want to work and this is not the case. They want an opportunity and can turn their lives around.'

The charity has been given the former shop premises at Centre Point, Fairstead, and hopes to have the academy up and running by Christmas.

It is appealing for help with vintage china for the tea room, stock for the charity shop and for volunteer help and for more information contact the Trust on 01553 767829.

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