More than 20 disadvantaged people are a step closer to securing paid employment thanks to the support of a major project launched one year ago.
At the end of 2016, Heart of England Mencap received £156,000 in funding as part of Building Better Opportunities, a £300 million programme funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund to tackle poverty and social exclusion by helping the most disadvantaged people into work.
Heart of England Mencap is supporting two Building Better Opportunities programmes - Accelerate, run in conjunction with Coventry and Warwickshire CDA (Co-operative Development Agency) for older participants, and Progress, in conjunction with Groundwork UK and Innovating Minds CIC, for younger participants.
The programmes will run until December 2018 – and are open not just to the people with learning disabilities, but to anyone disadvantaged and needing help into work.
Now more than 20 local people have been supported, with two about to start paid employment for the first time.
Programme participants get practical support and advice – from help with CVs to sourcing training and opportunities.
Heart of England Mencap runs the programmes at the Job Pod at Stratford College and the Sydni Centre in Leamington.
Karen Rousell, employment journey guide for Heart of England Mencap, said: “So many disadvantaged people and people with learning disabilities are really keen to work, but they lack the opportunity - this programme is very much about changing that.
“We are also engaging with local employers to find opportunities and to show how able people are.”
Heart of England Mencap is very keen to talk to friendly local employers who may be able to offer suitable work experience and job opportunities.
Advice and support would be given to help make the placements a success.
For more information on getting involved with any aspect of the projects, please contact Suzanne, Karen or Nikki on 01789 298709.