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Social tenants secure Lottery millions through Channel 4 show

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Social tenants secure Lottery millions through Channel 4 show

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

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Tenants of East Thames Group (ETG) have managed to secure £2 million from the Big Lottery Fund after taking part in the Channel 4 series 'The Secret Millions'.

The residents of ETG's Harlow Foyer in Essex won the funds to support the Foyer Federation’s 'Pop Up Talent' scheme.

The Secret Millionaire follows five Channel 4 faces as they work with charities on the frontline developing new projects - meanwhile secretly trying to help them secure £2m of Lottery money that could turn the big idea into reality.

Harlow Foyer residents helped to create an idea focussed on tackling high levels of youth unemployment.

Believing that job centres are failing to engage young people effectively, they worked with Channel 4’s Dave Fishwick on a Pop Up Talent shop to go into the heart of deprived communities.

During the five-part documentary, the tenants tested out the idea with a view to receiving funding from the Big Lottery Fund if they proved it was a workable model.

Instead of the unemployed going to job centres, the young people proposed employers go to them in the form of Pop Up Talent shops.

The shops will be designed to encourage young people into the work place and introduce employers to people they would not ordinarily consider hiring.

One Harlow Foyer resident, Jasmin, said: “I’m so happy I had the opportunity to take part in The Secret Millions – it was a mind opener really! Meeting Dave Fishwick was so inspiring and the team building exercises with residents from other foyers really helped to break the ice at the start of the project. I’m really glad I took part and so happy we secured the Big Lottery Funding needed to help take Pop up Talent Shops forward.”

Teresa Aken, Harlow Foyer manager, said: “I’m so proud of our residents who took part in The Secret Millions and so excited we have been successful in securing the funding to help get Pop Up Talent off the ground.”

Jane Slowey CBE, chief executive of the Foyer Federation, said: “With unprecedented levels of youth unemployment, and the reforms to the welfare system, we think that young people's employability is of greater importance than ever. Pop Up Talent will provide the Foyer Network across the UK with a way of showcasing the work that Foyers do in getting young people prepared for the world of work, and preparing them to 'make' work by starting their own enterprises as well as 'take' work.”

Documentaries Commissioning Editor, Emma Cooper, said: “It has been fantastic to watch Channel 4 talent get behind these amazing causes. In such austere times these projects are making a real difference to people in the most far-reaching ways. We are proud to have been involved and this series highlights just how important it is to support ideas for successful, sustainable and social enterprises.”

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