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Sheerness charity, the Church in Hope Street, receives cash injection to help the jobless to find work

By Lewis Dyson

A Sheerness charity has been awarded £45,000 to hold employment training, computer workshops and work experience placements.

The funding will enable the Church in Hope Street to continue its projects, which started in January, for another two years.

It was among five groups in Kent to win bids from the People’s Health Trust.

One of the training and support sessions being delivered at the Church at Hope Street
One of the training and support sessions being delivered at the Church at Hope Street

One of the initiatives involves providing support for people looking for jobs in Sheerness.

The goal is to take people who know nothing about computers and teach them how to search for work, write a CV and send their own applications.

The service is open to all jobseekers and receives referrals from Sheerness Jobcentre Plus.

One-to-one support is also available during the sessions, which take place on Wednesdays from 10am to noon.

Another project is basic computer training, mainly for older visitors and people with long-term health conditions.

Clients normally pay £20 for a six-week course and there are five sessions available every week, one on a Monday, two on a Tuesday and two on a Wednesday.

Some of the grant money will also be used to provide work experience placements at the Hope Street church’s cafe, the Lighthouse Coffee Shop, for people with learning difficulties as well as school pupils over the summer holidays.

The funding will also pay for two members of staff twice a week.

Project manager Robert Rose said: “The three outcomes they requested were around the three elements we deliver.

“Unemployment, local residents being better able to use the internet and improving skills.

“This project will continue hopefully after the two years, if we get other funding.”

The church received the lion’s share of a £150,000 pot that also went out to groups in Folkestone, Dover, Ashford and Gillingham.

The money was raised by HealthWhole through The Health Lottery, a group of 51 community interest companies set up to address health inequalities across England, Scotland and Wales.

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