Wisbech Community House looks to help more people in need by re-launching employability service

Councillor Mike Cornwell, FDC's portfolio holder for communities, relaunches Community House's employability services with Community House support officers Michelle Page (right) and Ian Lloyd (left), watched by representatives of partner organisations, groups, charities and local councillors.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, FDC's portfolio holder for communities, relaunches Community House's employability services with Community House support officers Michelle Page (right) and Ian Lloyd (left), watched by representatives of partner organisations, groups, charities and local councillors.

Archant

A project which helps residents to overcome barriers to skills, training and employment has been re-launched in a bid to reach more people in need.

Pledging their support to Community House during the relaunch event were Wisbech town councillors Andrew Lynn and Andy Maul. Pledging their support to Community House during the relaunch event were Wisbech town councillors Andrew Lynn and Andy Maul.

Wisbech Community House re-launched its employability services on October 30 to raise greater awareness of the support available – and revealed its plans for the coming year.

Local groups, partner organisations, charities and councillors were invited to the event to hear from staff, volunteers and clients how the project is making a difference to people’s lives.

Fenland District Council, which runs the house in Southwell Road, launched the employability project two years ago when funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) secured the future of the facility until April 2017.

When the DWP funding ceased, the Clarion Housing Group stepped into help – pledging grant funding for 12 months until April 2018.

The Clarion funding has a broad criteria, meaning Community House can offer the support to any individuals who are unemployed, economically inactive and seeking work, from any housing association and also property owners on any kind of benefit.

Wisbech town councillor Andrew Lynn was among those pledging support at the event, saying he would contact local businesses and encourage them to offer work experience placements to Community House clients.

“If we get businesses on board, we can get more people into work and help turn more lives around,” he said.

Community House client Gilly Barnes, said: “It was a really positive day and lovely to see so many people from the community giving their support.”

“Helping out at the house has really helped build my confidence and enabled me to work with a positive attitude.”

Activities helping to improve people’s confidence and skills include a gardening group on Tuesdays and Fridays, where people can enjoy maintaining the Community House garden. The group is also attended by People and Animals UK, which provides animal and land-based therapies for education and skills development.

There is also a drop-in social group on Thursdays, and up and coming projects include Community House Hedgehog Haven to set up hedgehog houses in the garden, and a cookery course.

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