Academy 4 Housing achieves BIG lottery win

A thousand residents of 4 housing associations are set to benefit from a brand new employability scheme, thanks to the Big Lottery and Academy4Housing (A4H).

STEP, the new project from A4H, has just been awarded 65% (£468,978) of its running costs by the Big Lottery.

STEP will deliver a range of pre-employment support activities across a three year period from January 2013. The project will provide support to 1,000 individuals furthest from the labour market and with significant and multiple barriers to employment.

A spokesperson from the Big Lottery said “What we liked about STEP was that A4H have identified a specific need to provide additional support to young people aged 16-24 for whom the current economic landscape is having a disproportionate impact on their employability and education opportunities. By aiming to get 400 individuals into sustained employment and 600 achieving part or full vocational qualifications, the project has the potential to make a massive difference.”

STEP will seek its participants from a range of client groups across the geographical areas within which the A4H partners work. Those partners are made up four housing associations (Thames Valley, Shepherds Bush, Sentinel and Gateway).

Andrew Craig, Managing Director of A4H said “This is a fantastic boost to our project. Now that the funding has been granted, we can get on with implementing the project and helping young people to reach their full potential.”

Geeta Nanda, CEO of Thames Valley Housing and Chair of A4H, said she is “thrilled that only 10 months since the new organisation was formed, our partnership working has enabled us to secure this significant funding. This is particularly important at a time when welfare reform is hitting our tenants and young people are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the labour market.”

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Editors notes

Thames Valley Housing is based in Twickenham, South West London and houses a wide range of people who have many different needs. Founded in 1966, the association owns, manages and administers loans for over 14,500 properties in London, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex, and has 679 properties under construction.

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