Dan Byles, Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, visited a Salvation Army project today (Friday 16 November) that is helping jobseekers fulfil their potential and return to employment.
The MP visited the Employment Plus services and toured the Bedworth Salvation Army Outreach Centre (Church) on Leicester Street which includes a charity shop and café, meeting Divisional Envoy John Vale, staff members and service users.
The Salvation Army in Bedworth runs a wide range services to support jobseekers, under the banner of The Salvation Army’s Employment Plus programme, including employment help and guidance in a comfortable, welcoming environment. Services include computer and numeracy training, support in preparing CVs and job application forms, work experience through the café and shop, van-driving and computer and administration. There is also a job club for blind or partially sighted jobseekers with adapted computers.
Many of the people who use the services are referred by Jobcentre Plus, with close to 300 people referred in the past eight months. Through the employment services, the centre has successfully put a trainee into paid employment every month for the past two years.
Mr Byles said: “The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to those in need, with an emphasis on giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Visiting the centre today, I was pleased to see The Salvation Army’s work bringing dignity back to those struggling to find employment and work experience. It is encouraging that the centre’s work extends beyond employment services to support many more people in need in our community through the variety of programmes on offer. Bedworth Salvation Army is truly a church dedicated to making a difference in its community.”
Bedworth Salvation Army provides a range of additional services, including provision of emergency food parcels and furniture to people struggling financially, an affordable gardening service for older people or disabled people and a drop-in and information centre for people who are blind and partially sighted. The centre also supports ex-offenders in rebuilding their lives on release from prison.
Envoy John Vale said: “Bedworth Outreach Centre is a hub of activity and is visited each week by more than 300 people who come to one of our many activities or drop in and enjoy coffee or lunch. Our activities meet a range of needs and are available to everyone – The Salvation Army doesn’t judge or condemn, we are here to help. We are grateful to the people of Bedworth for their support which enables us to carry out our work and to Dan Byles for visiting to see for himself the impact this work is making on people’s lives.”