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Media invite: Recognising residents who are trying to get back on their feet

Date: 02/09/2008           Category: Social Regeneration

Media invite: Wednesday, 3 September, 2.30pm The Community Room, New Art Centre, High Street, Chatham A group of people who have taken steps towards getting themselves off benefits and into employment will be the stars of the show at a presentation in Chatham next week. The 18 members of the Brook Lines Residents’ Committee have successfully completed courses in either anger management or a security industry-recognised qualification via Medway Council’s successful Project Reignite scheme. On Wednesday, 3 September Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder of Strategic Development and Economic Growth will present them with their certificates during a ceremony at the New Art Centre in Chatham High Street. Eight people completed the Security Industry Authority (SIA) Edexcel Level 2 BTEC award, an industry-recognised qualification, which will help them find work in jobs such as bar and nightclub door work, events stewarding and in the retail industry. The other 10 people finished a Level 1 course in Conflict Management to help them overcome personal barriers to make themselves more attractive to prospective employers. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the Brook Lines Residents’ group website, which will go live later this year. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth Cllr Jane Chitty, who will present the certificates, praised the candidates for their commitment to the course. She said: “I am extremely pleased for the 18 people who have showed their commitment to complete their course and achieve their qualifications, which will no doubt put them on the road to successfully achieving employment.” Project Reignite supports residents who are either unemployed or on low wages and living in five deprived neighbourhoods to become more attractive to future employers. Dedicated neighbourhood outreach workers work closely with residents living in All Saints; Brook Lines; Melville and Brompton; Strood and Twydall. Since November 2006, Project Reignite and its sister project Score have empowered more than 3,000 residents, by equipping them with skills and qualifications or helping them overcome personal barriers, including health and housing issues, drug and alcohol dependency or a lack of self-esteem. The project also provides practical help like writing a CV, advice on personal appearance and how to seek employment. People have gone on to find jobs in industries as diverse as construction, security, retail and transport. You are invited to send a media crew to the certificate presentation. Notes: Led by Medway Council, the project is funded by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and is resourced by the European Union and Church in Society. The project is a close partnership between the council, Job Centre Plus and four community organisations, which employ all but one of the outreach workers: All Saints Community Project, Church in Society, Strood Community Project and Melville and Brompton Community Association.