Lewisham Homes and Twin Group working to help residents back into work
Published by Lewisham Homes for Lewisham Homes in Housing and also in Care and Support, Universal Credit
Lewisham Homes resident, Chamecia Bryan (front right), 56, meets with Twin’s Families Advisor, Nicola Vines (front left) to start her on her way getting back into work, and getting help setting up an email account, watched by (from left to right): Beth
Lewisham Homes and local employment and training specialist, Twin Group, have teamed up to offer dedicated support and advice for residents to help them get back in to work.
This year-long project is part of the European Social Fund Families Programme. The project is designed to help residents who have multiple barriers that prevent them from working, to overcome them and increase their chances of finding employment.
Twin has a team of dedicated advisors who will work intensively with residents to help identify barriers that individuals and families face and develop an action plan to help overcome them. Residents will be able to benefit from support with financial advice, training, job preparation, confidence-building, specialist advice and guidance on getting back into work, and a personal mentor.
Kevin Jones, Director of Housing at Lewisham Homes, said: “We think it's vitally important that we offer our unemployed residents support and guidance to get employment. Our partnership with Twin is tailored to give intensive support to residents who want to get back into employment and training, and have a clear pathway to get there."
Beth O’Shea, Managing Director at Employment and Training at Twin, said “With the current changes in welfare reform it is more important than ever to provide support to local unemployed people to find sustainable employment. Twin Employment & Training is delighted to be building this key strategic relationship with Lewisham Homes providing access to funded training, support and job search to their residents.”
A drop-in event was held on 19 September at Lewisham Homes’ Pepys estate housing office, and more than fifty residents dropped in after being personally invited to come along; thirty whom discovered that they were eligible to join the programme and signed up to receive help.
Over 1,500 Lewisham Homes residents who are in receipt of housing benefits, are under-occupying their homes or who are unemployed and in arrears are being contacted by the Lewisham Homes project team to offer them the opportunity for an assessment to see if they are eligible to join the Families Programme. Further drop-in sessions are also planned over the coming month.
Since the start of the welfare reforms last year, Lewisham Homes has been working hard to make contact with residents affected by the changes. A new Welfare Reform team with dedicated benefits advisors was set up; tenants under-occupying their properties were invited to a special home-swap event; and a partnership with Lewisham Plus Credit Union to provide a local banking service at one of its housing offices are just some of the initiatives.
Lewisham Homes also runs free back to work clubs and employability courses for all its residents.