Helping people overcome disadvantages can transform
Our approach is described by Sheffield Hallam University as a ‘sector-leading initiative’. We tackle issues locally by engaging residents and building relationships with local partners like the police.
Our neighbourhood planning approach won a Big Tick in Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence in 2012. It was also shortlisted for the National Award for Excellence in the ‘building stronger communities’ category.
We've developed lots of projects and activities to give people the skills and experience to get a job. In 2013/14 we helped 291 people into work and we're developing our own capacity to become a vocational-based training provider.
We've developed a range of activities to engage, involve and support young people. Our aim is to enable them to be responsible, economically active citizens - and great future customers. More than 1,000 young people participated in 217 projects across 69 neighbourhoods in 2013/14.
Access to employment and training
Investing in society
We recognise that we can make an impact in communities abroad, as well as supporting neighbourhoods in the UK. We continue to invest in causes that we believe in, including Homeless International. We're currently helping a slum community in Kenya with a sustainable development plan for a savings trust.
The Meadows in Hounslow was one of the first areas to benefit from our award-winning approach to neighbourhood planning.
In 2007, there was a lack of community spirit, anti-social behaviour and poor amenities. Since then, the area has seen a dramatic turnaround:
Nearly 200 young people joined in with a range of activities. 85 residents attended employment and training fairs. Views are encouraged through consultation events, surgeries and open meetings. This feedback allows us to improve services delivered locally.
Wildlife is getting a boost too. Natural England is delivering a 2 year project with residents to establish better wildlife habitats and support the community gardening club.
A community funding panel was set up after residents voted to introduce a charging system for car parking. All income is re-invested in the neighbourhood – which has provided:
Jonathan Giddings, customer engagement manager:
“The Meadows is a prime example of how much we can achieve in an area by listening to residents and working with partners. The estate is now a very desirable place to live with residents taking a real pride in their neighbourhood.”
Places for People customer Sharon Hughes was made redundant at the age of 61 after 20 years in career guidance. After many unsuccessful job applications she wasn’t optimistic about finding work – and her confidence was at an all-time low.
Help was on hand from our employment and learning officer who worked with Sharon to develop her CV. When a suitable vacancy came up the pair prepared for the interview and presentation together. Sharon was delighted when she was offered the position.
“Finding work has reduced the isolation I felt when I was looking for work. Places for People helped me look at my own abilities in a different light. Without Jasmine and her enthusiasm I wouldn’t have been able to sustain the job search. Working has given me structure in my life, as well increased my confidence.”
Jasmine Watson employment and learning officer:
“With time and effort great things can be achieved and everyday support like a listening ear, a sounding board and some employment knowledge can really make a difference.”