24 March 2014 You are here:

MP Visits North Somerset Church Initiative Providing Help To Get People Back To Work

A Salvation Army church initiative to help people in Clevedon find work has welcomed Dr Liam Fox MP through its doors to see how it is helping people in the community.

Dr Fox, MP for North Somerset, met with people from the Employment Plus scheme based at Clevedon corps (church) on Friday, March 21. They told him how the scheme at the church in Old Street, Clevedon, helps unemployed people to find sustained employment. Employment Plus offers job seekers work placements, access to job searches, personalised support and e-learning opportunities.

Captain Michael Eden, who is corps officer (church leader) with his wife Rebecca, said: “Finding employment can be a big challenge, especially for those who have been unemployed for a long time. “Most people have not chosen to be in that situation, but due to circumstances, personal or professional, have found themselves in that situation. “We wanted to address this as we care about every aspect of a person’s welfare.”

Julie Kelford, Principal Job Life Coach for the scheme, said: “People’s lives are transformed when in employment. We aim to offer people a friendly and compassionate face as we help people find work.”

The Salvation Army in Clevedon works with people with a variety of needs and social circumstances and aims to reduce the negative effects of employment on people’s lives by focusing on personal as well as professional development goals. E-learning courses are offered alongside accredited employability courses. The church and charity works with local businesses, training providers, and employment agencies.

Dr Fox said: "We are fortunate to have very low unemployment in the area but in many ways it makes it even more important that those who are excluded from work develop the skills they need to rejoin the world of work. It is a great thing you are doing here."

Clevedon church is currently trying to raise £200,000 so it can move to a larger building nearby which would enable the church to expand the services it offers to include those not referred by the job centre.

The church has secured £600,000 funding towards the project, which they’ve named “A Building For The Future Appeal”.

The Salvation Army has been based in Clevedon for more than 100 years and the building is no longer suitable to meet the church’s needs as it looks to serve the people of the town.

The new church centre will offer community activities such as a cafe & charity shop, space for community use and increased services to the unemployed, and work with those experiencing hard times.