Funding from Isos Housing has helped save a rural job club from closure.
The local housing provider stepped in with a £10,000 grant after hearing that the Haltwhistle Unemployment Support Group in Northumberland was in danger of closing because of a lack of cash.
The grant, one of two recently awarded by Isos in the South Tyne community, will help to make sure that the group will be able to continue for one more year at least.
Based at the town’s swimming and leisure centre, the support group – a Community Action Northumberland project – runs drop-in sessions every week for local unemployed people, helping them to brush up on their job search and interview skills.
Group training on finding work is also provided, along with with careers advice and support for people setting up their own businesses, while informal group activities help develop life skills, such as managing money, reducing domestic fuel bills, healthy eating and exercise.
Having now secured the new funding, along with cash from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, the support group is also hoping to extend the services it provides. This could include sessions for young mums who are contemplating a return to work, as well as further volunteering opportunities.
Isos community involvement officer, John Temple, commented: “Within the project there is a big focus on volunteering and that points people towards becoming work ready, particularly if someone hasn’t got a lot of practical work experience.
“Support groups like this have the potential to make a big difference to someone’s life – not just by helping them secure a job, or training, or a volunteering opportunity, but by building their confidence and self-esteem and helping them become part of the wider community.”
A second grant of £5,000 has also been awarded to Haltwhistle’s Young and Sweet youth club, to help pay for a new gardening club for young people aged between nine to 19 years.