A reading project for ex-offenders and a scheme to support single mums into training and employment are among those granted funding by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Thirteen voluntary and community organisations across Norfolk and Suffolk are celebrating after receiving grants of up to £20,000 and totalling £222,788 from the Community Challenge Fund.
The initiative is delivered in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk Community Foundations and it is estimated the latest funding will result in 128 people securing training or employment and 466 being made ready for work. The fund actively encourages innovative projects that are not seen as “business as usual” and the grants are for one year.
Adults and young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) will be the focus of these programmes, particularly those faced with barriers to entering employment, such as long-term unemployment, disability, homelessness, or a history of offending.
Projects awarded funding this year are:
- The Bread Kitchen, Great Yarmouth
- Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford
- Benjamin Foundation, Norwich
- The Feed, Norwich (see main image)
- REFA (Regular Forces Employment Association), Melton Constable
- NANSA, Norwich
- DANES (Disability Advice NE Suffolk), Lowestoft
- Future Female Society, Ipswich
- Ipswich Community Media
- Suffolk Refugee Support, Ipswich
- Sharing Parenting, West Suffolk
- Suffolk West Citizens Advice Bureau, Bury St Edmunds/Haverhill
- The Reader, Norwich/Suffolk
Doug Field, chair of New Anglia LEP, said: “Finding employment will be tough for a lot of people following Covid-19 and those disadvantaged people in our communities will need more support than ever to overcome the barriers they face.
“One of the LEP’s central aims is to support economic development while improving the life chances of people from all our communities. That means people from all walks of life having the skills for employment and these grants help to achieve that.”
Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “Acquiring skills and finding a job, can be difficult for all of us. For some who are coping with significant life challenges too, it can feel overwhelming. This innovative programme works with our most vulnerable people to help them build confidence and brighter futures.
“In the current economic climate, this programme has never been needed more and we are delighted to be partnering with the New Anglia LEP to help spark positive change and opportunity within our communities.”
Stephen Singleton, chief executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “This funding programme continues to positively help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities seek meaningful employment. It demonstrates time and time again that charitable organisations have a real ability to deliver frontline services effectively for the benefit of all.”