New project gives Suffolk locals a better future
A new support programme worth nearly £2 million starts in Suffolk from January 2017 and aims to help more than 730 people. Opportunity Suffolk brings together a partnership of community organisations with a wealth of experience in supporting people with complex issues. The project will help the most disadvantaged in the community into or closer to work.
The project was commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund and supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP). It will run across Suffolk and is co-funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund. The project will be led by The Consultancy Home Counties Ltd (TCHC) and has nine key partners, Appleseed Social Enterprise, Anglia Care Trust, Green Light Trust, Inspiring Aspirations Ltd, Leonard Cheshire, Realise Futures, Royal Mencap Society, Sharing Parenting and Suffolk Refugee Support.
The percentage of Suffolk residents living in the most deprived areas in 2016 was around 10 per cent, with 15 per cent of children living within low income families*. The unemployment rate in the region was 4 per cent with 20 per cent economically inactive**. Opportunity Suffolk aims to help address deprivation and support the unemployed and economically inactive by tackling the multiple barriers they face with a coordinated, holistic response to participants needs, linking them to education or training opportunities and improving their work readiness.
Opportunity Suffolk will help to support adults aged over 24 who have been unemployed or economically inactive for two years or more.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership were keen for the programme to be introduced in r the region. Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We’re pleased that this important project is beginning. It will tackle the barriers which are stopping people in deprived areas of Suffolk being ready for and finding work and provide vital help for those who need it most.”
Dale Morgan CEO of TCHC was keen to be involved in this project as the company had experience of helping the unemployed and those with additional needs into work. “This project is something we really wanted to support. TCHC and our partners are delighted to have won the contract and can’t wait to get started.
“The difference having the right assistance can make to someone’s life and the life of their family cannot be underestimated. Having one place where you can go to get help for the many issues you may face is so important. It is a daunting task to seek support but no one should worry about contacting us, everyone involved is friendly and just wants to help.”