Pioneering employment project back up and running

Published May 7, 2020 at 14:53

A pioneering employability programme of projects that has helped more than 60 people in Rossendale back into work has adapted to the challenges brought by COVID-19 by moving online.

Rossendale Works and Futures are Rossendale Council projects, which from May 1 is being funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) as part of the More Positive Together Project.

In February, Rossendale Council announced Rossendale Works would be extended for two more years.

It successfully helps those living in the most deprived communities, who may have multiple, complex barriers to employment.

Due to on-going coronavirus emergency, the programme’s work has moved online and the team has been creating programs to keep in contact with current clients including a digital activity timetable and WhatsApp engagement group.

With uncertainty around the impact lockdown will have had the economy, local businesses and jobs, Rossendale Works is also gearing up to take on additional clients.

Project Manager Paul Becouarn said:

“I see the participants as people who have lost their connection and we are able to help them become reconnected.”

Bespoke programmes are designed to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of clients, through sport and activities, and when the time is right, Paul and the team help clients to take steps back into employment.

Since Rossendale Works was set up more than 250 people have been helped.

Paul said:

“Over the next two years we are going to look in more depth at how the programme benefits the individual so we are going to be continuously evaluating our work with the client to ensure we can demonstrate how our work has a positive impact. Through our link with Active Lancashire, who lead the More Positive Together Project, we have access to a range of partners with mentors delivering programmes around housing, debt, employment and education. One of the most rewarding outcomes is how our intervention can have a positive impact on the whole family and not just the client.”

Rossendale Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Economic Development Councillor Jackie Oakes said:

“Rossendale Works and Futures are outstanding projects. Even these dark times, they are still delivering. Many other local authorities have been in contact with Paul and the team with a view to introducing similar schemes in their Boroughs so Rossendale is leading the way.”

Adrian Leather, Chief Executive of Active Lancashire, said:

“We are delighted to have Rossendale Council’s support to bring the highly successful Rossendale Works programme together under the ESIF funded More Positive Together project banner for the next two years.

“Bringing the projects together will ensure closer collaboration with the local authority and local partners to raise opportunities for health, wellbeing and employability in the Rossendale communities.”

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