Route to Work 

We have gained Lottery funding for a project using our charity shop to offer training in retail to students who are seeking employment. We are working with Southend Adult Community College students, who are interested in working in the retail industry, and are required to do at least 3 hours volunteering a week as part of their course.

The grant has been used to employ Sarah Bell, as Training Supervisor for 20 hours per week. The project will run for 33 weeks, with each volunteer gaining at least 11 weeks experience in the charity shop. Amongst other things Sarah is:

  • giving feedback to all candidates and successful applicants on areas for development that can be integrated and covered in both their college course and everyday practice in the shop
  • providing a safe, supportive and equal work experience placement with young people working alongside older existing volunteers and members of the local community
  • allowing young trainees to plan and promote short retail and customer care focussed projects bringing the local community together. The trainees play a part in the development and promotion of the role of the charity shop.

Since the project started we have been able to support 10 young people in project based work: 2 from the college,1 from Southend Borough Council (LAC), 7 on a short term Prince’s Trust Community Project with Southend United Community & Educational Trust, as well as adults working to improve their confidence.