Launch of Community Connections brings locals a better future
A new support programme for local disadvantaged people was launched today in Ely. Joanne Goodall from the GCGP Local Enterprise Partnership welcomed the introduction of Community Connections, which brings together key organisations with a wealth of expertise in order that support can be accessed by local people with complex issues, helping to bring them closer to work.
The programme running in Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough, Fenland, King’s Lynn, West Norfolk and Rutland and surrounding area and has received £1.6 million of match funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund to enable it to develop a wide range of support opportunities for over 600 unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged locals across all ages.
The programme was set us as the area has an intergenerational cycle of unemployment and poverty, in Cambridgeshire more than 16,000 children grow up in poverty, with over 11,000 in Peterborough alone. In Cambridgeshire, 75 per cent of these children are in workless households compared to 42 per cent nationally. There are significant pockets of extreme deprivation, both in rural areas – which also suffer issues of isolation – and in market towns and cities.
The programme which is coordinated by TCHC offers a tailored package of support which meets the needs of individuals. Each person will receive an advice and guidance session where any barriers to work they face will be assessed. This information will be used to determine the exact support required. This could include improving numeracy and literacy, English for speakers of other languages, childcare support, goal setting and other wide ranging help. Each person will have their own mentor who will help them on their journey and will refer them to other support organisations should they need it. The ultimate aim, to support them into employment, self-employment or education and training, enabling them to improve their circumstances.
Dale Morgan Chairman for TCHC who are leading the programme said “The funding will allow specific and much needed support and help to the local community. Being economically inactive can bring huge pressures on the individual and their family. Supporting people into work or improving their wellbeing, not only improves their own outlook, but that of their family and can help the whole community. That is why this programme is so important and why as an organisation we are thrilled to be running this project.”
The organisations in the partnership are: TCHC, FACET, Cross Keys Homes, The Rosmini Centre, Papworth Trust, Prince’s Trust, Kickstart, Keystone Development Trust, Hanseatic Union,The Ferry Project, Pre-school Alliance, CWRC, Sharing Parenting and Headway.