Young Sunderland jobseekers are getting extra help to find work from a local community action group thanks to a £2,880 Newcastle Building Society grant.
Pallion Action Group has employed a specialist job search tutor to help young people across the city prepare themselves properly for the world of work, find suitable opportunities and get the jobs that they want.
As well as providing tailored support to individuals, including help with applications and interviews, the new service will also offer group-based activities to help service users gain new skills, as well as greater confidence and self-esteem.
The first jobseeker appointments are now taking place, and the charity is hoping to help dozens of local young people in the coming months.
Originally set up in 1993, Pallion Action Group runs a diverse range of educational, social, recreational, advice and advocacy services for the benefit of local residents and the surrounding areas from its Community Resource Centre on East Moor Road.
Karen Noble, Manager at Pallion Action Group, said: “As well as the obvious problems with people losing their jobs during the pandemic, we’ve also found that being on furlough or made redundant has really hit a lot of young people’s confidence, and building that up will be central to what this new service does.
“While helping to identify work opportunities has been something we’ve informally done for a long time, we’ve never had a structured, formal service in place like we will have now and the funding that Newcastle Building Society has provided is going to make a big difference to the futures of a lot of local young people.
“The service is open to anyone, but we particularly want to reach local young people who are furthest away from the job market due to their current personal circumstances and to help them realise that, with the right support, guidance and attitude, there’s every chance they can find a job that’s right for them.
“We’re also seeing a lot of people getting interested in becoming self-employed and taking more control of their own futures, and we’re able to signpost them towards ways of realising these sorts of ambitions.
“We’re ready to kick things off and are excited about the prospects of helping more young people across the city begin to build futures for themselves by finding and keeping the jobs that they want to do.”
The funding is being provided through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which offers grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society's branch network.
In the first half of 2021, the Society is directing its support to a range of projects tackling issues linked to employability, as part of helping its communities manage, mitigate and recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
David Pearson, Manager at Newcastle Building Society's Waterloo Place branch in Sunderland, adds: “Our purpose is connecting individuals and communities to a better financial future, whether through savings accounts and mortgages, or by supporting programmes and services that help people realise their potential and achieve their aspirations.
“Pallion Action Group is already at the heart of so many positive things that happen across our community and we’re very pleased to be able to help them extend their reach even further in this particular time of need.”
Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has also contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Prince’s Trust.
The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.
The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.