Long-term and vulnerable unemployed residents of Solihull will benefit from a £73,610 grant secured today (Friday 26 June) supporting them to move into sustainable employment. The Colebridge Trust were successful in their application to the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) for funding to deliver their ‘Building a Healthy Futures’ Project.
The project will offer a programme of activities to help people overcome barriers to employment and will provide beneficiaries with opportunities including construction industry training, work based placements, volunteering, and motivational and employability training, all designed to empower them to become employment ready. The Trust will also engage with local employers to seek job opportunities and to support them to have a deeper understanding of the circumstances of the people they recruit.
The funding has come from the HS2 CEF, one of two funds, with a combined total of £40million, that are available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2 between London and the West Midlands. To date over £7million has been distributed from the Community and Environment Fund, and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), with 118 projects in total benefitting.
Alongside the Coleridge Trust, the Three Trees Community Centre in Chelmsley Wood has also been successful in their application for a project that will improve the centre, creating conservatory activity space, additional offices and improving safety measures at the centre. The £75,000 award will transform the facility and make it more welcoming and accessible for the local community that use it.
Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Community and Business Funds said:
“The HS2 Funds are increasingly having a positive impact in the West Midlands as well as across the HS2 route. It is great to see two more projects in the area benefit, especially one which will have a lasting legacy through local training and employment, and another improving community spaces to be used for years to come. The Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are impacted by the construction of HS2 and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these Funds.”
Chet Parmar, CEO of the Colebridge Trust said:
“As Solihull’s Community and Development Trust, our charity strongly believes in inclusive growth. A project such as HS2, with the new interchange being built on the doorstep of some of the most 5-10% deprived neighbourhoods in England has the exciting potential to deliver that growth. We are delighted to have been awarded this funding which will allow us to connect locally unemployed people with the new employment and training opportunities, whilst at the same time work with employers to ensure that their vacancies reach a diverse pool of candidates. More so than ever, helping improve the health and wellbeing of participants is key to delivering sustainable employment outcomes and the Building Healthy Futures project has certainly been developed with that in mind.”
These projects join 27 others in the West Midlands that have received support from the HS2 funds to date sharing more than £1.3million between them. As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.
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