Big Lottery Fund provides grant for Learn to Earn

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Blenheim and the Octavia Foundation are working together on a new project, Learn to Earn, which has been awarded a £262,223 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The project will support people with a history of long-term drug and alcohol dependency into education, training and employment. It will operate in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster.

People in recovery from substance misuse are often unemployed over a long period. It can be difficult for them to gain employment through traditional work programmes. Learn to Earn will provide a service tailored to the needs of those recovering from substance misuse and will seamlessly link into the Job Centre. The Octavia Foundation will run employment workshops, helping participants to identify their skills, write a CV and prepare for interviews.

Brendan McGrath, Blenheim Area Manager, said:

“Many of our clients have anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. These issues, coupled with a lack of confidence and little education seriously disadvantage them compared to others in the job market. Our programme will help to remove these barriers.

We aim to move them from dependence and isolation to independence and engagement with the community. This will be achieved by building up their social skills through meeting others engaged in the programme, learning with clients on the course and increasing confidence through participation in group work.”

Susan (name has been changed), a client at Blenheim’s service in Kensington & Chelsea, said:

“I thoroughly enjoy the programme. It made me think about things in depth like body language, applying what I learnt in the training and learning how to speak to people. ”

Each year, Blenheim works with over 2,000 clients in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster, supporting them in their recovery and reintegration into the community. Blenheim is a London wide organisation with over 50 years’ experience working with drug and alcohol users. Last year, the organisation supported over 11,500 individuals across London.

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