Job support plan in Saffron Walden continues to be a hit

PUBLISHED: 09:08 06 March 2011

A PROJECT to support those who are out of work in Saffron Walden has seen in its first birthday - and is witnessing continuing demand.

Redundancy and unemployment is a real issue for many people in the area: the number of people claiming job seeker’s allowance in Uttlesford stands at 820.

The Transition Project was launched last year on the back of escalating fugures by the St Mary’s Parish Church ministry team after an eight-week trial to identify the key areas in which unemployed people were not getting help.

Drop-in sessions are held in the Parish Rooms every Tuesday from 10am to noon where you can get support in CV writing, interview practice and job searching.

“Over the course of the year we have had about 70 different people come through the door in just one two-hour session a week, so it has certainly seen continuing demand,” said team ministry member Rev Christopher Warren, who is leading the project.

“The pilot project proved successful last year and it has continued. We did not want to duplicate the work of other organisations, such as the CAB, but found that people needed help with internet access, CVs and interviewing practice.

“We also discovered that many just want to be able to talk about it. People do feel isolated when they are out of work and by offering somewhere they can come and have a chat is helpful.

“I think what we have been able to offer is help that is practical.”

The drop-in sessions are run by experienced, “high calibre” volunteers who have been in management positions and have been made redundant themselves, so they “cover all bases”, says Rev Warren.

And their usefulness shows no sign of letting up.

“We have moved on continually and remain flexible – if there are different needs we can adapt to these as we find them,” he added.

“In all likelihood we will be getting more people who are facing redundancy or unemployment this year so it is important there is something there to catch them.”

The project welcomes new volunteers, in any capacity.

For further information go to the website at transitionproject.co.uk or call 01799 530317.

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