A BRADFORD community support centre is calling on the people of the city to back a campaign which will help the rising unemployed population find work.

St Vincent's, based on Rees Way in BD3, is seeking support for its bid to access funds from the £500,000 LNER Customer and Community Investment Fund.

The pot supports projects which “mitigate the social need and therefore help to create a more inclusive, prosperous and connected community.”

The charity's, Expanding Horizons, aims to help marginalised adults who are currently not in paid employment, including people experiencing homelessness, ex-offenders, people with refugee or asylum seeker status, or facing financial difficulties exacerbated by the pandemic.

The project will tackle the situation through job clubs, classes and workshops giving people, who are experiencing unemployment, practical skills and the confidence to gain and retain paid work.

The support includes creating a CV and covering letter, interview and communication skills, and building confidence through volunteering and focussed activities.

St Vincent’s Bradford centre manager Sheena Eastwood said: “We want to respond to the economic impact that Covid-19 is having in the more deprived wards of our community by offering employability training in a supported environment, giving people confidence and the opportunity to regain their dignity.

Bradford District ranks fifth in the most income deprived local authorities of England.

It is also sixth in the most employment deprived areas of the country, with an average of 11% of the community claiming out-of-work benefits, and 13% of working-age individuals have no qualifications.

Additionally, redundancies across Yorkshire rose by 60% over the last year, leaving the city with a perfect storm of unemployment.

The St Vincent’s Bradford project uses a unique personalised approach with each service user receiving a bespoke package of support tailored to their needs, which will prepare the learner for progression to accredited qualifications and vocational courses.

As part of the Expanding Horizons project, participants will have the opportunity to volunteer at the St Vincent’s Bradford centre where they can develop skills and boost their CV with on-the-job experience.

Mrs Eastwood added: “We have experienced a sharp rise in the number of people needing support at St Vincent’s centres as a result of unemployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Some of the most marginalised people in our communities who fall outside of the mainstream back-to-work schemes will be directly supported through this project.

"But we need your help to be awarded the funding, so please register your support for Expanding Horizons on the LNER Customer and Community Investment Fund website to redress the wave of unemployment sweeping the city.”

To support the St Vincent’s Bradford Expanding Horizons project, register your support by following these simple steps:

- Click here

- Select ‘Education and Employability’

- Select ‘St Vincent de Paul: Expanding Horizons’ as your preference

- Select ‘Education and Employability’ as your preference