Grants worth between £5,000 and £20,000 are available from the European Social Fund (ESF) Community Grants scheme for projects that will help move unemployed people towards employment, training or back into education.
Funding totalling £500,000 has already been distributed to a number of third sector and small organisations as part of the scheme, which was first launched in January 2020.
However, Telford-based employment and education charity Landau, which is managing the programme, has said there is plenty of cash left in the pot to support further initiatives aimed at helping the unemployed build a brighter future.
Sonia Roberts, CEO of Landau, said: “This is a great opportunity for small organisations to play their part in helping to transform people’s lives. Small and voluntary organisations have the potential to deliver targeted and effective support to those who need it most. We look forward to receiving applications over the coming months and seeing the positive impact of the programme in our local communities.”
Projects that have already benefited from the grants programme – commissioned by the Education and Skills Funding Agency – include Telford-based Anta Education, Shifnal-based Bright Star Boxing and Shrewsbury-based Open Harmony CIC and Renu Hair and Beauty.
The scheme has won the support of Dean Harris, The High Sheriff of Shropshire, who today urged more organisations to get involved and help build confidence and promote greater social integration amongst the unemployed.
Mrs Harris said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for organisations to receive significant funding towards projects, activities, support groups and networks, all of which will help increase confidence, enable personal development and provide motivation for unemployed people who want to bring about change in their lives.”
Third sector and small organisations with a turnover of less than £8.5 million and employ fewer than 49 people are eligible to apply for a grant through the programme, which forms part of a multi-million-pound series of measures overseen by the Marches LEP to transform lives across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin.
The programme will run until December 2023 and for information on eligibility and funding criteria visit landau.co.uk/community-grants/.
A grants panel made up of representatives from key local stakeholders will help ensure that the funding reaches projects that can make a real difference to those who need it most.