With many families across Leicestershire facing childcare pressures and the increased risk of redundancy due to Covid 19 lockdown restrictions, employment support remains in acute demand. The GREAT project (Getting Ready for Employment And Training) is addressing this by providing remote delivery across Leicestershire, that also keeps local communities safe.
After transitioning into a fully remote service, GREAT project is now opening its virtual doors to new families in need. When lockdown began in March, the project had to implement a waiting list, and have recently gained capacity to accept new cases.
“Being able to take on new referrals again could help many more families in need – particularly during these challenging times.” notes Project Manager, Chantal Brotherhood.
Since the pandemic began, the GREAT project has delivered its services exclusively via Internet and telephone resources. With the support of the project’s lead partner Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL), GREAT currently offers group wellbeing and skills development sessions, behind the scenes employer tours and preparation for work and training with Employment Support Officers.
One participant on the project felt as though the project helped her to connect with people during lockdown whilst enabling her family with future prospects:
“The GREAT project zoom sessions have been very good, being able to continue some interaction. I have made some good friends with other participants from the project. I look forward to continuing getting support….to find a suitable job for myself in order to obtain a better lifestyle for myself and my children.”
Whilst the project was popular before the pandemic began, it is anticipated that this will continue to grow. Unemployment rates are expected to triple from 3.8%, the figure recorded at the end of 2019.
“Lockdown has meant that many more Leicestershire residents could now be in need of employment and training.” manager Chantal Brotherhood notes.
The GREAT project continues to be made possible by funding from the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. For more information about the GREAT project, you can visit their website: www.greatproject.org.uk, telephone on 0116 257 5020, or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.