Stronger Together Project Showcases Success

Stronger Together Partnership

ORGANISATIONS which have been part of a scheme to help people find and keep a job have gathered with local employers to celebrate the project’s success.

More than 200 people have been supported by the Stronger Together project since it began in October 2017.

The project has been funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund and led by Reading Borough Council in partnership with New Directions, Reading Voluntary Action, MAPIS CIC, West Berkshire Council, Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit and Reading UK CIC.

Partners gathered to highlight the success of the scheme and to discuss how they can continue to provide assistance to jobseekers once funding for the project has ended in the spring.

Stronger Together involves dedicated project workers from the partner organisations working on a one-to-one basis with people who are experiencing challenges in finding employment. They assist them with building confidence, writing their CVs and preparing for interviews, as well as checking they are receiving the benefits they are entitled to whilst job seeking.

Employers which have been involved in the project also attended the showcase event. They discussed how they can continue to get the message out about being flexible employers and doing all they can to open their vacancies to people who may have challenges such as disabilities, long term unemployment or caring commitments.

Marc Murphy, Retail Business Manager at The Oracle who attended the event, said:

“If enough of us employers stand up to help at least one person each per year we would progress much faster and help a lot more people.  There are people out there who are in work who wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for the Stronger Together Partnership.”

One of the Stronger Together participants, called Anna, told attendees at the event how she was working on improving her confidence after a period of unemployment and how the project had supported her to work towards her career goals.

Janet Meehan, Stronger Together Partnership Manager, said:

“This event has been an opportunity for local support agencies and employers to come together and celebrate the success of a project that has helped so many local residents, and although funding for the project will soon come to an end, everyone here today is committed to continuing support to those who need our services to reach their career goals.”

Reading Borough Council leader Cllr Jason Brock said:

“It’s great that so many people have benefitted from the Stronger Together Partnership.

“It demonstrates what can be achieved when local organisations and charities come together with a common goal. I hope those organisations will keep alive the ethos of the Stronger Together project for the benefit of vulnerable adults in Reading in the future.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about the Stronger Together Partnership can email Bbo.strongertogether@reading.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

Stronger Together Partnership: Berkshire West

The Stronger Together Partnership is a Building Better Opportunities project, funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

The BBO project has received £1.3m of funding from the National Lottery Community 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. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

David Millward

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