Volunteers To Make Football Pitch in Partington
August 7, 2012, 6:31 pm
Leading property management company Telereal Trillium is funding the scheme, which is being carried out by New Choices, a joint initiative run by Jobcentre Plus and Greater Manchester Probation Trust (GMPT).
New Choices, based at Big Life in Partington, is a scheme which involves jobseekers and the supervision of offenders in a non-probation venue getting support to return to work.
Vicky Fraser, a Telereal Trillium facilities manager, first visited New Choices to conduct mock interviews aimed at helping clients improve their interviewing techniques and to improve their employability.
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She said: “We are very impressed by the work being carried out at New Choices, but what became abundantly clear to us as we worked with clients was that many lacked self-confidence.
“When we saw the waste land outside the office, we thought it would be an excellent idea to work with a team of volunteers from New Choices to transform the area.
“The team-building exercise will help provide the community with a valuable facility that all can enjoy, while also helping participants increase their self-belief and employability.”
Jean Ham, Job Centre Plus advisor, has a regular client base of more than 20 people, including offenders and other disadvantaged groups.
Jean said: “Working in Partnership with the Probation Service has provided me with a great opportunity to tackle jobseekers specific problems that prevent them from finding work.
“This initiative has produced excellent results. So far we have got 30 claimants off benefit and back into employment, including those who have not worked for more than ten years.”
On average a dozen offenders are seen by probation officer Barry Saunders at the centre, which is the first project of its kind in Greater Manchester.
Barry said: “I am delighted that Telereal Trillium is running this project, and the firm is clearly committed to helping offenders back into work.
“The interviewing techniques session that Vicky and her colleagues Matthew Bird and Kevin Humphreys ran was in itself a fantastic opportunity for participants to improve their skills.
“It meant a great deal to the participants. It gives them the message that someone unconnected to ourselves or the Jobcentre believes in them and is willing to give them a chance.
“All the volunteers turned up for the interviews, and that clearly demonstrates what they thought about it.”
New Choices is supported by a variety of agencies including the Strong Communities Team. Barton Grange has kindly offered time and equipment as service providers for Telereal Trillium to allow the project to be completed.
Marion Meakin, probation partnership manager, contacted the local parish council and arranged for use of the field for the project.
Telereal Trillium provides property management services to Jobcentre Plus and is also committed to improving the communities in which it works.
Big Life has supported New Choices from the start and initially allowed the premises to be used for no cost. The rent is now covered by Your Housing Group.
Marion said: “This has meant the pilot programme has been run on minimal costs while achieving excellent results.”