The WCHG Futures Programme specifically targets those considered furthest from employment, providing the experience and support needed to break down the barriers to employment of poor work history, confidence and training.
The twelve month programme equips trainees with experience, qualifications, personal development opportunities and mentor support, giving them the essential work skills required for the job market.
Our Futures Programme found national status when it was recently featured by Placeshapers at the Chartered Institute of Housing national conference in Manchester. This national network of more than 100 community based housing associations has already helped 60,000 people build a career.
Placeshapers WE WORK focuses on 15 powerful stories of how lives have been transformed. They highlight how partnerships between PlaceShapers, local agencies and businesses provide people with the support they need to get into or return to work, or to start their own companies. Many of the people had been long-term unemployed.
Executive Director of Housing Jacque Allen said,” Firstly I want to say how proud WCHG is of Toni and what she has achieved. Our work is all about providing opportunity for people living in our neighbourhoods and supporting them to achieve their ambitions. Congratulations to Toni and thank you to her for sharing her story which I know will go on to inspire others”.
Assistant Director of Community Investment and Regeneration, Sarah Klueter said, “Housing providers are knocking on thousands of doors to engage the local community and are really well placed to get people back into workplace. We are delighted to have supported 1,800 local people get back into work since 2010 and we will continue with our commitment and vision to contribute to the Wythenshawe community a place where people choose to live and work”.
Sinéad Butters, PlaceShapers Chair and Chief Executive of Staffordshire-based Aspire Housing said, “These stories show how we build lives as well as homes. We care about our communities and play a unique role in helping them thrive. These results are possible only because PlaceShapers are embedded in our communities, understand local issues and provide services which respond to local need.”
Toni Fleming from Manchester explained how Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG), made the difference between independence and a life spent in poor health, struggling on benefits.
Toni said, “I grew up around unemployment, so I wanted to be different and work all my life. But after I was made redundant, I was out of work for two years, and I started to suffer from depression. I felt worthless, so I needed to be needed and snap out of it. Having a job – they need me to be in every day. and that’s what I need in life.”
Through our Futures Programme, Toni started volunteering in her community then got help to apply for a job in street cleansing. She was the only woman to be appointed and complete the 12-month training programme including a Bike Back to Work scheme. She now cycles to work and has seen a big change in her health, wellbeing and fitness.
You can also watch all fifteen short films at http://www.placeshapers.org/we-work