The Stronger Together Partnership Launches

THE Stronger Together Partnership, which aims to help the most vulnerable in society back into employment, launches next week.

The partnership of 13 organisations across the voluntary and community sector is open to all eligible participants across the whole of the West Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, concentrating on the most deprived areas. It has been made possible by an award of £1.3million from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of Building Better Opportunities, a joint programme to help socially excluded people back to work.

Each partner will be running a number of activities, complementary to other projects in the area, to help reduce unemployment, alleviate demand for benefits, and increase skills and capacity for local employers. Activities will include work experience, CV writing and interview practice, identifying personal barriers, training and support, lessons in English, Maths and other subjects, debt and housing advice and much more.

Reading Borough Council’s Leader, Councillor Jo Lovelock, said:

“I am pleased to see the launch of the Partnership on 1 October. It’s great that so many local organisations and charities are involved in this project, which will benefit from their profound local knowledge, and I am sure that the project will go far to help the most vulnerable in Reading in getting back into work and improving their life chances.”

Rachel Spencer, Chief Executive of Reading Voluntary Action said:

“We are so excited to see this project go live! From the 1st October the partnership will be offering a whole range of really interesting services and projects to support people moving into employment or wanting to start their own business. In addition to the courses and the training, partners will also be providing practical support with childcare, interview outfits, transport and more. We would encourage anyone who would like to find out more to visit us on the third floor of the library and sign up for news at RVA”

Notes to Editors

Useful Links

The Stronger Together partnership brings 13 organisations in Reading and West Berkshire together to help people in deprived areas to find opportunities.

Partners are: Royal Mencap Society, Reading UK, Reading Community Learning Centre, The Real Business Club, New Directions, Newbury College, Mapis, West Berkshire Community Learning Centre, Whitley Community Development Association, Reading Voluntary Action, Reading Community Welfare Rights and Reading Borough Council.

The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, its funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.  

The project has received £1.3million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.

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David Millward

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