Charities supported to “rebuild local lives in Suffolk” thanks to LEP scheme

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Refugees, veterans of the Armed Forces and young people looking to get into training and jobs are among those who will benefit from a community grant scheme in Suffolk.

Six voluntary and community sector projects are to share in £113,636 from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Community Challenge Fund, which is run in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation.

Access Community Trust, Combat2Coffee, Emmaus Suffolk, Porch Project, Suffolk Refugee Support and The Mix Stowmarket have been funded by the scheme that supports organisations that can actively help people into employment and deliver against a range of work readiness outcomes.

Andrea Pittock, Head of Grant Programmes for Suffolk Community Foundation, commented: “The New Anglia LEP has recently made another round of funding to six fantastic organisations across the county. Our ongoing partnership working with them allows us to reach even more charities in need of support. We look forward to following these projects closely as they rebuild local lives in Suffolk.”

Hadleigh-based charity The Porch Project previously received a grant for its New Horizon scheme which has helped people enter volunteering, gain apprenticeships and, in some cases, full-time employment. The latest grant of £20,000 will support the progression of this work.

“This new funding from the LEP will build on this success and be called ‘Further Horizons’ but will take it one step further by working with partners to gain access to training and employment within the food agenda, from farm growing to warehouse processing and retail sales,” said its Senior Executive Officer, Mike Grimwood.

“This more focused approach will enable us to target those on the programmes and match their skills and knowledge to specific areas of work.”

Emmaus Suffolk, based in Ipswich, supports people experiencing long-term unemployment, homelessness, or social isolation. The ‘Work it Out’ programme will help people develop the skills they need to successfully gain employment, including CV writing, interview skills and confidence building.

The project will combine the support services of Emmaus Suffolk with experienced guest speakers from across Suffolk, and be delivered through workshops, mentoring and one-to-one support.

Claire Staddon, Chief Executive, said the funding would enable the delivery of the programme over the next 12 months. “Programmes like this are essential in supporting people to gain employment, build confidence and reach their full potential, and we are very grateful for this recent funding that will help make it happen,” she said.

The Mix Stowmarket works with young people from across mid-Suffolk and beyond and delivers a range of services, including the Together Project, which builds partnerships with local businesses and organisations to increase community engagement.

Its Life Skills and Personal Development Programme is specifically designed to help young people discover their true value and build their confidence, motivation, and resilience, and has had more than 130 referrals since it was launched in 2019.

Chloe Davis, Together Project Lead, said: “The Together Project at The Mix are so grateful to have received funding from The New Anglia LEP though the Suffolk Community Foundation. This funding will enable us to continue supporting young people with their next steps into work, education and training in what is a very tricky and difficult time.”

Young people are given support with housing-related issues, learning, employment, and their mental health and wellbeing through the services of Access Community Trust, which has offices in Lowestoft, Thetford, and Great Yarmouth.

Last year it was named the second-best charity to work for in the UK and given a special wellbeing award from Best Companies. The presentation was made live on the BBC.

Patrick Moir, Head of Programme Development and Implementation, said: “The LEP Community Challenge funding will prove vital in enabling Access Community Trust to work alongside the local Pupil Referral Unit and support the future aspirations of some of the most disadvantaged young people in our community.”

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