A WORTHING church has been awarded a £10,000 grant to help start a new programme of community projects to aid unemployed residents and disadvantaged young people.
The money, from the Big Lottery Fund’s small grants programme, Awards for All, will provide educational and training activities for people of all ages.
The Community in Action project will start in March, and be run by Reality Christianity, a charity run by Northbrook New Community Church, which meets at a number of venues across the town.
Mike Tyler, retired businessman and church governor, is leading the programme in collaboration with the Alternative Learning Community.
He said: “We have found that unemployed residents need friendship and encouragement to help regain their confidence and enable them to make progress towards achieving their personal potential, in what seems to be an increasingly-uncertain world.
“So, we are delighted to receive this Lottery grant and some additional funding from the Neighbourhood Learning for Disadvantaged Communities programme run by Northbrook College.”
The programme of projects begins with the Forward Club, piloted last year, which will meet at The Farmhouse, in Fulbeck Avenue, Durrington.
It helps unemployed residents in the area to look for work or further training.
Work experience for those who complete a food hygiene course will be provided in a community café, run by the church in Northbrook Barn Community Centre, which is opposite the pub.
Club members and others interested will then be invited to join a new community co-operative being established to provide voluntary and affordable paid-work opportunities for local people.
The programme also includes development of a community allotment or garden to grow produce for members and the café.
Mike said: “Linked to this work will be the pilot of a street champions concept already proving very helpful in a growing number of towns.
“This is a partnership involving specially trained residents, the council and the police and will enable concerns of residents on environmental or anti-social behaviour problems in their street, to be responded to more effectively by direct communication with the right authority link.”