Peter Dowd, MP for Bootle, visited a Salvation Army employment centre in Bootle last Friday. The centre offers tailored support to people looking for work, especially those who need extra assistance to overcome barriers, and is considered to be the most comprehensive of its kind across South Sefton.
The centre is a vital source of support for people in the community who are unemployed, homeless, elderly, isolated or have health issues including those with complex needs. More than just a place to eat, the Centre is a place where people from all walks of life can come together and access a whole range of support, share stories and form friendships, overcoming loneliness and social exclusion and find a way back into employment.
For people looking for work, the Employment Plus Local initiative provides tailored support, especially for those who need extra assistance to overcome barriers. The service is free to use and welcomes around 30 people each month. Jobseekers in the area receive professional advice as they take part in job searches, are guided to create quality job applications and CVs and are prepared for their return to employment. The support provided is person-centred, recognising that those experiencing unemployment may also have additional needs that require specialist help. The Salvation Army focuses on getting to know people, to help them to move forward one step at a time and equips individuals with skills and confidence to be successful.
During his visit Peter Dowd MP met with local people and saw for himself the facilities available to jobseekers. He also took the opportunity to meet with staff and volunteers who run Employment Plus Local and heard first-hand how they provide support which is tailored to meet individual needs to help people back into employment.
Captain Annette Booth said: “Bootle Salvation Army is a great example of a compassionate community recognising a need and meeting it. Today, it has been fantastic to welcome our local MP, Peter Dowd, to the centre to hear from people who use our service and receive such great support from the staff and volunteers through our Hope Centre and Employment Plus Local scheme.
“It is vital that everyone can access the right support at the right time and that we continue to work alongside people to tackle individual barriers to work. It is a privilege to serve our community in this way, observing jobseekers grow in confidence and become work-ready.”
Commenting on the visit, Peter Dowd MP said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Employment Plus Local scheme at Bootle Salvation Army and see for myself the valuable work they are doing to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community into the workplace. It is clear that local people are making the most of the services and support on offer at the centre, that they are made to feel very welcome and helped with the specialist support they need to get a job that works best for them.”