Carpentry Students at Storeroom2010


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HIWCF has announced the launch of a new £1.76 million ‘Solent Supporting Employment’ Grant Programme, which will provide grants of £30,000 – £60,000 for local community and not-for-profit organisations that can reach and work with individuals facing complex barriers to employment.

Solent Supporting Employment will provide funding for groups working in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, particularly in places where deprivation and unemployment are high.

The grants will support organisations with a proven record in employability to offer new and innovative projects, enabling those from BAME communities, people with disabilities, and people marginalised by factors such as mental health issues, age and homelessness to move closer towards, or into employment.

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The programme was created by Solent LEP in response to the call issued by the Department of Work and Pensions, and is part-funded by the European Social Fund, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and HIWCF donors.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive of HIWCF says:

“HIWCF is delighted to be implementing the ‘Solent Supporting Employment’ Programme, providing vital opportunities for those in need in our local communities to find their way into work. This will really increase job prospects for disadvantaged people, just at the right time as we emerge from lockdown and the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the local labour market is becoming clearer.

“This significant new programme will offer people the life chances that they deserve, and we are extremely grateful to all involved in this partnership including our HIWCF donors, as it is thanks to their extensive support that this project is possible.”

The new ‘Solent Supporting Employment’ programme follows the highly successful Solent Community Grants Programme, also administered by HIWCF from 2016 to 2018. Over 52% of participants on the programme either moved into employment, engaged in education or training and began looking for work. Many others also reported that they had gained valuable work experience through taking up volunteering roles, helping to improve their employability prospects.

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The new programme will run for 3 years and all eligible groups in the Solent LEP area are invited to send in their applications before the closing date of 16th September 2020 via the HIWCF website.

For more information about the grant programme and to register for the informative online briefings taking place in August, go to

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Bob Frapples

That sauna looks a bit draughty

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