A community and business centre is launching a new project to help the unemployed
- Credit: Ian Burt
A multi-purpose community and business centre has launched a new project to provide work experience opportunities for unemployed people.
The Full Steam Ahead initiative from the Charles Burrell Centre (CBC), in Thetford, will aim to provide 80 volunteers with work experience opportunities over a two-year period.
Over the past three years more than 140 volunteers have engaged with the centre, which already has strong links with the Job Centre, Nova Training and the Prince’s Trust.
Centre manager Mark Snowdon said the new scheme will help to access more people.
“The focus of this is to reach people who have struggled with employment and work experience skills,” he said. “We already have a volunteer structure in place but this will allow us to continue on a much larger scale.”
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The centre successfully applied for a grant of £43,187 from the Local Investment in Future Talent scheme, which is administered by Norfolk County Council and funded primarily by the European Union.
However match-funding is required by the CBC.
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The project has been given a significant boost after Breckland Council’s cabinet voted to give a £20,000 grant towards the project.
Mr Snowdon said: “The grant is half of our match funding. It is a huge relief.
“It is a really exciting project. We hummed and harred over it for a long time because we had to commit to taking it on before the funding from Breckland Council. This funding ensures we can maintain our reserves.”
A number of fundraising events will be held to raise the rest of the money needed for the match-funding.
The volunteers will undertake a range of tasks at the centre, which houses 46 tenants, from charities to businesses and education facilities.
They will help to maintain the grounds, take on administration task and help with general DIY.
The funding will help to cover the costs of a project coordinator and project administrator. And will used to help with travel and child care expenses for volunteers who need it.
Mr Snowdon said the aim is to help as many of the 80 volunteers find employment as possible after their two-month tenure with the project.
For more information visit the centre’s website.