Salvation Army support growing in Essex
published on 10 Nov 2022
People in Essex who need help to become job-ready can attend a free support service, launched by The Salvation Army at locations across the county.
Employment Plus already operates in dozens of locations across the country, working alongside jobseekers to understand their needs and goals, and tailor the service to fit their needs. The church and charity holds drop-in sessions in Chelmsford on Mondays, Southend on Tuesdays, Rayleigh on Wednesdays, Leigh-on-Sea on Thursdays and Shoeburyness on Fridays. Eventually, it is hoped the service will be available from nine different churches throughout South Essex and beyond.
Shaun Patience, Employment Development Coordinator, gave more details of what’s on offer.
He said: “Anyone is welcome to attend these sessions. As well as employability skills, we can help with IT training & digital skills, applying for benefits, money management, and in-work support. We work with a variety of partners, including local job centres and GP practices, all of whom are keen to refer people to us for help.”
Shaun and Ann Reddings, fellow Employment Development Coordinator, have been supporting an Employment Plus Local at The Salvation Army’s Church in Chelmsford since May and are currently helping a number of people with employability support, as well as assistance with other more complex needs.
Shaun said he is confident the service is already starting to make an impact:
“We offer free Wi-Fi access to computers, alongside volunteer support. We are reaching out to people who may also be socially isolated; the service is also being advertised at food banks and charity shops.”
Shaun revealed: “We had a woman referred to us who had been asked to leave her home by her landlady. We were able to support her in her application for financial assistance for the deposit on a new home, as well as being accepted on to the housing register. When I first spoke to her, she was despondent and overwhelmed by what might happen to her as she has three children, one of whom has special needs. With the support that we were able to provide she has recently moved and is now living in rented accommodation, which is closer to the special needs school.