£1.76 MILLION TO BOOST SKILLS AND JOB PROSPECTS IN LONDON AND KENT
Two projects that aim to equip people with the skills and opportunities to gain work and improve their lives have been awarded a total of £1.76 million by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
Prevista in South London has been awarded £1,108,800 to deliver targeted activities to support 531 black, Asian and minority ethnic women in the local area. Working with long-term unemployed women from hard to reach communities, the project will help them into work and sustain jobs, training or education.
Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) in Kent has received £653,100 to support 350 people struggling to find work, including disabled people and those with substance abuse issues. Activities will include basic skills and vocational training and a pioneering two week programme to help people manage change, incorporating health and wellbeing, motivation, reflection and confidence-building. The group will also aim to engage the wider family unit tacking issues such as long-term dependency on benefits.
Lyn Cole, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “These projects will provide a comprehensive package of support to help people overcome challenges and improve their long-term job prospects. They will not only offer education and training but also address the root causes of long-term unemployment, and help people increase their confidence and wellbeing. These are skills that they will have for the rest of their lives.”
James Clements Smith, managing director, Prevista said: “Prevista is delighted to have been awarded a grant from the European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund to work with people most excluded from the labour market. Our programme is a testament to the local partners we have assembled to work with us: grass roots, close to this client group and with a track record of helping people back to work or to education. We look forward to delivering this programme together with our local partners and the Big Lottery Fund staff – we are very grateful and there is much to do.”
Liz Rickaby, assistant director, RBLI said: “Supporting individuals to achieve independence through work is a primary objective for RBLI and helping people to identify and overcome barriers that can lead to long term unemployment is something that we have been doing effectively for many years. We are therefore delighted to have secured funding which will not only enable us to extend our services further, but also provide the opportunity to continue to build strong local partnerships which will maximise the potential for both success and ongoing sustainability.”
These are the first two full awards made under the Building Better Opportunities programme, which sees the Big Lottery Fund matching funds from the European Social Fund to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty.
Further awards will be made throughout the year. The funding will be delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas and projects have been designed to respond to local need.
Further Building Better Opportunities projects are due to be announced later in the year, and you can find out more information by visiting the website www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf.