In 2016, following a successful pilot, we began to fund RE-START at the Oasis Centre in Gorton. RE-START is a work club and IT support programme that provides holistic employment support for vulnerable and disadvantaged adults in the community. The programme offers a safe and supportive environment in which to build friendship, community, stability and hope.
Through a person-centred approach, RE-START helps people create and maintain their CVs, extract key information from job adverts, complete job applications, write tailored cover letters, prepare for interviews and complete online training resources. The Programme Coordinator has developed partnerships with housing associations and other local businesses, to help identify and encourage people to take up training, work experience and job opportunities. Clients report that they appreciate the programme because of its “friendly staff, who go the extra mile”.
During 2016-17, 82 people found employment through the programme and many others became volunteers within the Centre. With a new Oasis Centre opening in early 2020, the RE-START programme will occupy triple the amount of space and aims to reach 300 people in this year.