Village Agents News

‘Positive People’ to help Somerset’s most disadvantaged people into work.

12th January 2017

The new programme, called ‘Positive People’, will help over 1,000 individuals who are out of work to build their skills, confidence and motivation. This will include people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, homeless people and people over 50. Support for individuals will include basic literacy and numeracy skills, help to master digital technology, and preparation for work including job search.

The programme aims to benefit local communities by reducing poverty and anti-social behaviourIt will also contribute to the growth of the local economy with employers having access to a pool of people with the relevant skills to meet their needs.

Community Council for Somerset (CCS) and Pluss will begin to deliver the £4 million programme in early 2017 for the next three years. The core partners are Pluss, Abilities, Inspired to Achieve, Cosmic and Community Council for Somerset. There are also 41 additional partners across Somerset (listed in note 2).

Keeley Rudd, CEO for CCS, said “This is wonderful news for Somerset, it will create long-term and life changing differences to individuals that need support. CCS is now well placed to support a wide cross-section of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Somerset, through “Positive People” and through our own Village and Community Agent project, we can see real, positive transformations for many people.”

Pluss’ Chief Executive, Steve Hawkins, said “Positive People will support hundreds of disadvantaged people across Somerset into sustainable employment.

“Securing the funds to deliver this programme is a proud moment for all five organisations. Our Somerset partnership will deliver significant positive social change at a time when local devolution means Somerset is taking on more responsibility for its own future.”

Positive People has been co-designed over the past six months by a range of stakeholders including representatives from local communities, Somerset County and District Councils and the Heart of the South West LEP.

Positive People (part of the Building Better Opportunities programme) is a new project jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.