Friends Centre has secured funding from the European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund for a new project called “Get Socially Active” that will help unemployed and socially inactive people get involved in their local community whilst developing skills to take the next step towards work.
Designed around a variety of confidence-building activities and training, the project is aimed at people 19 to 50+, who are not working for a variety of reasons, whether registered unemployed or not, who need help to make positive changes in their lives. People interested in this free service will be linked to a coach that will meet with them regularly, develop an action plan and support them through each stage until the final goal is reached.
The coach will help the individual to identify and address barriers to work and learning by helping them to navigate and access local existing training and services that could help with confidence, managing stress, basic skills such as ESOL, maths and English and general employability skills.
The courses may be existing local courses, courses delivered in small groups in a community setting, larger group courses or tailor made courses for a small group of individuals needing to address similar issues.
Following this, the coach will help the individual attend a work experience placement within local community organisations so that individuals can test out their skills in a safe and supportive work environment. We will support people with job search, interview preparation, negotiating reasonable adjustments where necessary and provide in-work support.
Friends Centre is leading this collaborative initiative with organisations that are embedded in and trusted by their local communities. The project is being delivered in Newhaven by SCDA (Sussex Community Development Association) who are providing employability skills through a bicycle recycling initiative. In Central Brighton, the Friends Centre is working with The Platform to provide supportive work experience placements for participants within Brighton’s vibrant social enterprise scene. In Fishersgate and Portslade the WEA (Workers Education Association) will be supporting people to set up community groups that the community want and need. The project also benefits from the support of Impetus, Friends, Families & Travellers and PACA (Portslade Aldridge Community Academy) Adult Learning.