Project to help the unemployed is launched in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 08:19 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 22:08 31 May 2010

From left, Noel Starr, Rev Chris Warren, Saffron Walden mayor Doug Perry, Eddie Howson, Graham Cottam and Rev Paula Griffiths Picture: SUBMITTED

From left, Noel Starr, Rev Chris Warren, Saffron Walden mayor Doug Perry, Eddie Howson, Graham Cottam and Rev Paula Griffiths Picture: SUBMITTED

A SIX-WEEK project to find out how best to support those who are out of work is being piloted in Saffron Walden. The recession may be officially over, but redundancy and unemployment continue to be a real issue for many people in the area. The number clai

A SIX-WEEK project to find out how best to support those who are out of work is being piloted in Saffron Walden.

The recession may be officially over, but redundancy and unemployment continue to be a real issue for many people in the area. The number claiming job seeker's allowance in the town rose from 505 in January 2008 to 1036 in January 2009. It now stands at 1440.

"In percentage terms the increase in the number claiming job seeker's allowance is huge," said Rev Christopher Warren of the Saffron Walden team ministry.

"And because it is means tested after the first six months, it probably represents a low figure."

The team ministry at St Mary's Parish Church in Saffron Walden has now launched the Transition Project - a research initiative to gather the experiences and ideas from those who are unemployed.

With the support of Saffron Walden Town Council, the sessions will run for six Tuesdays from February 9 to March 16 between 11am and 2pm in the Saffron Walden Town Hall.

Many of the volunteers taking part have experienced redundancy and unemployment themselves and know only too well what it is like to be out of work.

Rev Warren said: "We are hoping that as many people as possible who are currently out of work will drop in at some point during one of the weekly sessions to talk to one of our volunteers about how unemployment is affecting them and to share their ideas on what kind of support service would suit them best."

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

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