Tackling poverty head on with a support programme to help people back into work

A project to help people back into work is launched. From L to R: Dale Morgan – CEO TCHC, Jamie Conw

A project to help people back into work is launched. From L to R: Dale Morgan – CEO TCHC, Jamie Conway - Big Lottery Fund, Eloise Smith – Funding Officer Big Lottery Fund, Kath Sansom - Cambs Times, Joanne Goodall – ESF Facilitator GCGPLEP, Michael Schneider – Director of Business Development TCHC, Amanda Montague – Operations Director TCHC - Credit: Archant

A programme to help people with complex issues get back to work or training has been launched to tackle the region’s poverty which is nearly double that of the national average. .

Community Connections brings together 14 local groups to pool resources to help those who are disadvantaged.

Joanne Goodall, of the GCGP Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The programme was set us as the area has an inter-generational cycle of unemployment and poverty.

“In Cambridgeshire more than 16,000 children grow up in poverty and 75 per cent of these 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.”

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Dale Morgan chairman for TCHC, which is 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.

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“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.”

The programme was officially launched in Ely and is now running across Cambridge, Fenland, Peterborough, King’s Lynn, West Norfolk, Rutland and surrounding areas and has received £1.6 million of match funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The aim is to develop a wide range of support opportunities for more than 600 unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages.

• The programme is available for three years. Each person will receive a guidance session where barriers to work are assessed. The information will be used to determine support needed eg improving numeracy and literacy, English for speakers of other languages, childcare support, goal setting. Each person will have their own mentor who will help them on their journey.

• To find out more contact TCHC on 01923 698 472, email cc@tchc.net or visit www.tchc.net.

• Taking part are the Big Lottery Fund, BITC, Cambridgeshire County Council, CHS Group, CWRC, Facet, Ferry Project / Luminus, GCGP LEP,

Hanseatic Union, Headway, JCP Ely, Keystone, Kickstart, Manig, MIND, Papworth Trust, PCVS, Peterborough Learning Centre, Pre-School Learning Alliance, Princes Trust, Promoting African Refugee Community Association [PARCA], Rosmini Centre, Sharing Parenting, TCHC and The Education Corporation.

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