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Employment initiative expands service in County Durham

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Employment initiative expands service in County Durham

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Published by Craig Downs for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities

SHED, which offers training for long-term unemployed people, opens its new office in Langley Park. Pictured left to right are Paul Fitchett, Graham Gowland, Karen Morris, Paul Walton, Michelle Graham and Barbara Armstrong SHED, which offers training for long-term unemployed people, opens its new office in Langley Park. Pictured left to right are Paul Fitchett, Graham Gowland, Karen Morris, Paul Walton, Michelle Graham and Barbara Armstrong

A successful initiative that has already created 17 jobs in the last year is now expanding its service across County Durham after being awarded £30,000 of funding.

Social Housing Enterprise Durham (SHED), which provides training and work for residents who have been unemployed for six months or more, opened a new office in Langley Park this week after securing the funding from the Mid Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP).

Based from its main offices in Moorside, Consett, SHED was launched by North Durham housing provider Derwentside Homes in 2011.  The scheme, which offers a range of home-improvement services such as gardening, decorating and odd jobs throughout Derwentside has already successfully expanded to East Durham and is now setting up this latest operation in Langley Park.

In the last year, SHED employed 17 previously unemployed people with 11 going on to secure full time employment with local businesses.

SHED is managed by operations manager, Paul Walton who believes the funding that has been awarded will not only benefit local residents who access the service but new job opportunities and the chance to improve the employability skills of local unemployed people will be particularly welcome in this current economic climate.

Paul said: “This is a very important development for SHED and we are really looking forward to delivering this service to local people living in Langley Park and the Mid Durham Corridor.

“The initiative makes a huge difference to peoples’ lives, giving them the chance to secure employment and providing them with a wage to support themselves and their families.

“We are very grateful to receive the funding which will benefit hundreds of residents in the area.”

Andy Coulthard, Coordinator for the Mid Durham AAP, said: “The AAP are proud to support a scheme with such a good track record within the local community.

“There are a number of employment schemes operating throughout the county, but what makes this so much more than an employment scheme is how it can also support vulnerable and older people by providing the home improvement services.”

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