Northumberland jobseekers offered lifeline thanks to Coalfield cash

Blyth Resource and Initiative Centre (BRIC), which has been delivering employment support and education services for more than 30 years, has secured almost £10,000 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme, delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

With a total fund of £9,974, BRIC will continue to run a popular Job Club, which provides unemployed people living within Blyth and the surrounding areas of Southeast Northumberland with the advice and guidance they need to find work.

With a client base of more than 5,000 unemployed residents, BRIC will continue to operate the project as a drop-in session, which runs twice a week from the Buffalo Centre in the Croft Ward area of the town.

The Club offers a wide range of interventions including assistance with face-to-face interactions, creating personalised CV’s, access to online job boards and support via e-mail and telephone, as well as one-to-one and group workshops.

Sharron Fawcett, BRIC Centre Manager, comments: “BRIC has been a part of the Southeast Northumberland communities for over three decades. With this insight, we know exactly what our residents want and need from us.

“We are able to offer specific support and training programmes to help address the barriers and challenges that individuals come up against when looking for work.

“Whether its signposting them to job searching facilities or local networking events; providing practical assistance with interview techniques or helping them improve their personal presentation, we are there to guide them as best as we can.

“With so many clients, our services are often stretched, and we constantly operate at full capacity. With this funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, we can continue to deliver this project and try to improve the lives of those we engage with.”

Development Manager for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Lynn Utting, comments: “The advice and guidance BRIC has provided over the years has been a major catalyst for change. The people of Southeast Northumberland have accessed this support to enhance their skills and find further employment opportunities.

“Many residents have changed their lives thanks to BRIC and that is why the Coalfields Community Investment Programme will continue to support the Job Club and the specialist services it delivers.

“Despite the great work that BRIC carries out, the levels of unemployment within the town and surrounding areas remain high. Much like other coalfield communities, deprivation continues to hold people back.

“This is why we are calling on Government to create a dedicated Coalfield Investment Fund, so we can work with community-led organisations such as BRIC to scale-up our efforts and achieve lasting change for future generations.”

As BRIC has become a member of Coalfield Community Investment Programme it will continue to be supported by the Trust and will receive bespoke practical support that includes everything from access to resources and services such as help with third-party funding applications and bid-writing, to tips on effective promotion and marketing.

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