01 October 2013 You are here:

MP Visits Cradley Heath Church Initiative Providing Help To Get People Back Work

A Salvation Army church initiative set up to help people from Cradley Heath find work has welcomed James Morris MP through its doors to see how it is helping people in the community.

Mr Morris, MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, met with people from the church’s Employment Plus team on Friday, September 27. They told him how The Salvation Army’s Employment Plus scheme based at the community centre in Reddal Hill Road, Cradley Heath, helps unemployed people to find sustained employment. The church, known as Cradley Heath Corps, works in partnership with Employment Plus, so that people can go to the church to update their CVs, and take part in employment training courses.

Captain Elizabeth Hancock, corps officer (The Salvation Army’s equivalent to a vicar) at the church in Meredith Street, said: “As a church we care about every aspect of a person’s welfare. Unemployment is a main cause of social exclusion and poverty so it is a real issue that needs addressing. This is of course especially true for young people and those who have a range of different needs.“For more than 100 years The Salvation Army has been helping those who are furthest from the labour market so we felt this was a way in which our church could help those in our own community in a practical way. That’s why we started our involvement with Employment Plus. “When people are in employment their lives are transformed. We wanted to be active in supporting our community and offer a compassionate, friendly face, as we help people towards employment.”

The Salvation Army in Cradley Heath works with people with a variety of needs and social circumstances and aims to benefit the community through a range of schemes which include Employment Plus.

The church in Cradley Heath has been offering the Employment Plus service since July 2010 and works with local businesses, training providers, and employment agencies. It offers personalised support, access to job searches, offers work placements, and e-learning opportunities in addition to accredited employability courses. The church also seeks to reduce the negative effects of unemployment on people’s lives so that there is a focus on people’s personal as well as professional development goals.  

On Thursday, September 26 The Salvation Army hosted a jobs fair organised by James Morris MP at the church in Meredith Street, Cradley Heath, offering advice and support for those looking for employment.

James Morris MP, said: "The thing about the Work Programme is that it is not just about ticking boxes but about long term sustainable employment.

  “This fits into the ethos of The Salvation Army, which does incredible work in Cradley Health. People aren't treated as a number, and instead are given a friendly welcome and positive, practical support in what can be a very difficult experience to go through.   “The Salvation Army Corps, where I hosted a jobs fair on Thursday, have extremely dedicated people who can offer everything from a listening ear to guidance and training opportunities, and on top of all this fantastic work they also make a mean bacon roll."