Worcestershire has received more good news regarding funding to support long term unemployed people into work. The Big Lottery and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has announced that Fusion, a consortium of 24 Worcestershire based not for profit organisations have added to their success from earlier rounds of this funding, and been successful in securing a further investment of £1 million of Lottery and European Social Investment Funding to help long term unemployed into work.
The Worcestershire Building Better Opportunities has been shaped by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and is part of the European Social Investment Fund 2014-2020 programme to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.
In Worcestershire, the principal Housing Associations and Redditch Borough Housing came together with a range of local and specialist Voluntary Sector Organisations, Heart of Worcestershire College and the Health and Care Trust to form Fusion. By working together, Fusion can help those needing extra support into work. This includes people with disabilities, adults with learning disabilities, long term unemployed, ex-offenders and young people with no work experience.
Clare Jackson, Chair of Fusion and Executive Director Housing, Care & Communities with Fortis Living commented: “This further success is great news, as it will enhance the work we have commenced from the earlier Building Better Opportunities success and allow us to help more people. We are delighted that the collaboration between the Worcestershire voluntary organisations and Housing partners is being recognised as a model to receive external funding”.
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership commented: “We have been working with the local voluntary sector and housing providers to develop ideas on how best to use this funding and we are delighted they have been successful in a further bid. Businesses in Worcestershire are committed to bringing prosperity to the county and all its residents. This investment will ensure those furthest from the labour market, will receive the right support to help them into sustained employment so they can both contribute and benefit from the growing economy.”
Helen Scarrett from Worcester Community Trust said: “We are proud to be part of Fusion which has developed a new model for partnership working in Worcestershire. We will be hosting a job coach from February 2017 to support local people into employment and enable our communities to thrive by increasing chances and opportunity for employment.”
Vestia Community Trust, part of The Community Housing Group Ltd has engaged and worked with a range of partners during the last two years to establish the Fusion consortium and submitted the bids for Building Better Opportunities. Marina Banner, Executive Director said: “We are delighted to have secured this further investment and with partners working together, we are confident we can not only achieve the targets set by the Big Lottery and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, but also improve lives, as we know the difference that being in employment can make in people’s lives.