Local Community News


Cowes-based Storeroom2010 is 1 of 3 Island-based organisations to benefit from a share of £423,000 as part of the Solent Community Grants Programme.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation programme has been created by Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF), HIWCF donors, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council.

Grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 have been awarded to the organisations that are able to reach and work with individuals facing complex barriers to employment, particularly those from areas of high deprivation in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

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On the Island, Storeroom 2010, Learning Links and Vectis Housing Association have all received funding.

Nick Miller, CEO at Storeroom 2010 commented:

“The majority of those we help have been long-term unemployed either due to mental or physical health issues or for most because of low level educational achievement. We have a high level of male clients looking to become involved with the trades industry, aspiring to achieve qualifications in areas such as plumbing and horticulture.

“Many long-term un-employed on the Isle of Wight have very little experience to put on their CV and we are aiming to address this issue through providing the opportunity for people to learn a practical skill that will be theirs to use in their future working life. Skills gaps are currently proving difficult for the local education system to overcome, which greatly affects our small island community and we are working towards alleviating this serious problem”.

Jakes Ferguson, CEO of HIWCF said:

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“We are delighted that through the Solent Community Grants Programme we can provide vital opportunities for those in need in our community to find their way into work. The programme increases the prospects of people living in our communities and will encourage their ambitions, enabling them to progress and make a lasting difference to their lives”.

The second round of Solent Community Grants funding is now open and all eligible groups in the Solent LEP area wishing to support economically inactive people into job search and employment are urged to send in their applications before the closing date of 10th January 2016 via the HIWCF website www.hantscf.org.uk/grants.

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