A record 800 people from disadvantaged communities across Erdington have been given a real life chance thanks to a unique partnership designed to tackle worklessness. Enta joined forces with Merlin Housing Action Trust to deliver this programme – a £1.4m WNF-funded project – and in just 12 months it has successfully helped 241 people secure employment, with hundreds of others gaining valuable qualifications and access to training.
A special event to celebrate the project was attended by Jack Dromey MP, Cllr Catharine Grundy (Chair of the WNF Commissioning Committee), and local Councillors Des Hughes and Peter Kane (Chair of the Erdington Constituency), among many others.
They honoured the achievements of determined individuals like Laureen Taylor who was unemployed for ten years before the project changed her life. “I was at an all-time low: depressed, disheartened, no motivation, no confidence, I was over-eating and generally felt my life was going no-where,” said the 35-year-old from Wyrley Birch. “I had desperately been looking for work for ten years, but looking back, I’d hit rock bottom.”
Laureen attended a community jobs fair delivered through the partnership which resulted in her gaining voluntary work experience at Kingstanding Community Development. She has also since secured a raft of NVQ qualifications and a full time role within the organisation, helping other unemployed people find work.
Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham, Erdington, said. “Laureen is a first-class example of an outstanding woman. She has proved that with the right support great achievements are possible and I am sure she is an inspiration to many. This project is a triumph of community initiative – this city may not be rich in terms of money but it is very rich in terms of talent and potential.”
Kevin Hayes, Chief Executive of Enta, says, “As an organisation committed to changing lives and changing communities, we were very proud to lead this programme. It has been quite a journey and difficult to believe it is only a year since we were awarded the contract. The impact has been fantastic and this is largely down to successful partnership working and the commitment of all involved.”