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£6million for disadvantaged residents

7 September 2016

Five projects worth over £6million are set to help some of the region’s most disadvantaged residents.

The Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund and cash matched by The Big Lottery, was this summer awarded to Partnerships across the South East Midlands and will provide much needed support over the next three years.

The groups awarded funding are:

  • Bedfordshire based Voluntary Works, awarded £695,000 to help local people manage their own finances, including understanding changes in benefits.
  • Luton Borough Council and partners, The Learning Partnership, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire and Social Business Alliance, will use their £2million to support people into employment through its new ‘Building a Better Future for All’ project.
  • TCHC, awarded nearly £700,000 for its ‘Enterprising People’ project which will enable local community organisations to offer a wide range of support to unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged people which will help them kick start their employment and enterprise dreams.
  • Northamptonshire based WRAP, co-ordinated by Goodwill Solutions and awarded £1.4million to support people out of work, with an emphasis on ex-offenders and young people.
  • Working Progress, led by The University of Northampton Consortium and awarded £1.4million to support the unemployed, with an emphasis on troubled families, people with disabilities, carers and the homeless.

This funding, awarded after extensive research into social inclusion by SEMLEP and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), was awarded in August 2016 and is set to make a real different to communities and individuals across the South East Midlands.

Dale Morgan, chairman for TCHC, said: “This funding will allow specific and much needed support and help to the local community. It may not seem possible to make your dreams of your own business come true, but with the right support, starting your own business or getting your ideal job can become a reality.”

Vanda Bailey from Voluntary Works added: “Support to understand your money will help people manage the impact of welfare reform and focus on addressing the root causes of poverty.  The programme will enable participants to understand their financial responsibilities and how they can enhance their prospects and manage their resources.”

Mike Britton, managing director of Goodwill Solutions CIC, said: "With the help of our partners we will be able to support 1,000 people in their journey towards meaningful employment. Our ultimate purpose is to create sustainable social impact, add value to existing provision and to positively change the lives of disadvantaged people in our community.”

Lesley Nicholls, economic development officer at Luton Borough Council, said: “This project will support unemployed or economically inactive people to overcome barriers and move into, or closer to, paid work. It will tackle worklessness and help to raise the aspirations of some of the most disadvantaged people, often with multiple and complex needs who may require more support to move into employment.”

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