Thousands of people in Brighton & Hove have benefited from a £690,000 package of community grants. The grants have enabled unemployed and disadvantaged people to gain the skills needed to get back into work.
Brighton & Hove City Council launched the Global Grants Programme three years ago to support a variety of projects in this area. Since then around 3,600 people have taken part, gaining experience in everything from computer skills to cookery and childcare.
More than 100 people have found work after participating and 650 have gone on to take up a voluntary work position.
A total of 171 projects have received grants, including Woodingdean Youth Centre, which is training and supporting local residents to become volunteer youth workers, and local charity Amaze, which has helped parents of children with disabilities to learn new skills.
One participant in the Woodingdean Youth Centre project said, “I had always been interested in youth work, but it was a Catch 22 situation - I couldn’t get a job as I didn’t have any experience and I couldn’t get the experience without having a job! Volunteering gave me the chance to see if youth work was what I really wanted to do and when a paid position came up I went for it and got it.”
Global Grants are awarded from the European Social Fund, which is matched with funding from Brighton & Hove City Council and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.
Councillor Mary Mears, deputy leader of the city council, said, “The Global Grants Programme has been a great success and has really helped local people with basic skills move forward in their lives. It is superb that participation has helped over a hundred people gain employment.”
The Global Grants programme ends this year and funding has now all been allocated. However the city council’s Voluntary Sector & External Funding Unit can advise local voluntary organisations on other possible sources of grant funding
For further information, and for an evaluation of the Global Grants programme, check out the website www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/communitygrants or phone 296827.
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Brighton & Hove City Council