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Salvation Army in Bootle launches Employment Plus Centre

Divisional Commander Major Drew McCombe, Community Co-ordinator Alan Roper, Mayor of Sefton, The Mayor's consort, Councillor Maureen Fearn,  Bootle Corps Officers Captain Jonathan and Lieutenant Sam Hamilton

The Salvation Army in Bootle has launched a new ‘Employment Plus’ centre in its Bootle Corps, which will help unemployed people in the local area develop the IT and personal skills necessary to get them back into work.  

The centre, which will feature six laptops that visitors can use to access online benefits and job application sites, as well as advice on CVs, applications and interview techniques, opens today, at an event celebrating the work of the Corps attended by local dignitaries.

“We were noticing that people coming through the doors asking for help were facing long-term issues, such as being unemployed,” says Lieutenant Sam Hamilton, who with her husband Jonathan, a Captain in The Salvation Army, officers at Bootle Corps.

Divisional Commander Major Drew McCombe addresses the gathering about the new employment plus scheme

Sam continued, “We decided to do something about it by addressing these issues. Unemployment in particular is a big issue in the local area. We want to help take some of the pressure off local services by providing vulnerable people with the help they need. We want to help them by giving them the time and support they need.”

Employment Plus is a service run by The Salvation Army which offers support to help people become job-ready, land employment and stay in work. It is run as a locally-based organisation, on the ground, operating from more than 1,000 locations across the United Kingdom.

Lynn Coutts, from The Salvation Army's Employment Plus said; "I'm thrilled that today we can launch the new Employment Plus Local (E+Local) in Bootle. Throughout the country, Employment Plus and E+Locals have been helping some of the most vulnerable people into work and giving them the skills they need to help get their lives on track. Bootle is a great community and I'm happy that we can serve it in this way."

She continued, "I know Captain Jonathan, Lieutenant Sam, Alan Roper & the volunteers will do a fantastic job helping and supporting the clients in developing their IT and job-search skills, such as CV compilation and interview skills. This will not only raise their self-confidence, but will assist in gaining and sustaining employment. I wish them the very best and am sure the service will be a huge success."

Community Co-ordinator Alan Roper, alongside the IT suite which will help unemployed people gain the skills they need to get into the marketplace

For Lieutenant Sam, though, the motivation to help is very real. “I’ve been in this community for one and a half years, and my husband for four and a half. I grew up in a community of deprivation and poverty and when we see people come through the doors with issues and a need for help, all I want to do is support them.”

“When you’re in a tough spot, the hardest part can sometimes just be feeling there’s no hope, or that you’re alone. Our corps is a place where we try to show the love of God through our actions – and anyone, no matter whatever their circumstances or challenges, will always be welcome here.”