New Community Hub to boost support for the unemployed in Hackney

Diane Abbott leads the celebrations at the launch of Shaw Trust's new Community Hub in HackneyDiane Abbott, MP for Hackney, joined national employment, learning and skills charity, Shaw Trust, to celebrate the launch of a new service dedicated to getting the long-term unemployed back into work. Hackney is one of the first London boroughs where Shaw Trust is piloting the new service to support some of the most vulnerable members of the local community into work.

The Community Hub has been launched at Shaw Trust’s office on Ramsgate Street in Dalston, where the charity delivers the Work Programme – a back to work scheme supporting the long-term unemployed into work.

Shaw Trust believes that the Community Hub will play a ground breaking role in the lives of its Hackney clients, providing them a platform to progress, find work and take control of their futures. The hub is a professional and friendly environment for the charity’s volunteers, employment coaches and advisors to deliver the Work Programme in an exciting and innovative way.

Each hub operates with additional advisors and reduced caseload sizes. There are four unique areas within a hub, each one designed to build skills and confidence, and address personal issues to prepare people for employment.

These four areas include:

Wellness Hub – offering a range of health and wellbeing benefits, including healthy food, counselling sessions and access to health professionals.

Job Essential Hub – where support is available to remove employment barriers. The hub offers CV workshops and motivation sessions.

Interview Hub – advisors work with clients to improve their confidence for job interviews, develop presentation skills and provide career advice.

High Street Hub – clients benefit from complementary services, such as money advice and café facilities.

The hub will also feature English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Information Communications Technology (ICT) classes, self-employment workshops, occupational therapy, motivational interviewing and tailored one-to-one support.

Ms Abbott helped to launch the Community Hub by taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The MP was joined at the event by several local dignitaries and guests, including local employers and organisations. The celebratory event was also attended by Shaw Trust chief executive, Roy O’Shaughnessy, and the charity’s trustees.

Ms Abbott used the celebrations to learn more about the hub and Shaw Trust’s services. Meeting with staff and volunteers, as well as members of the local community supported at the hub, the MP was given the chance to witness first-hand how the hub helps people from Hackney into work.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney, said: “Shaw Trust is playing a crucial role in supporting disadvantaged people to play an active role in their community. People who have been unemployed for a significant period of time often struggle with health and confidence issues that hinder opportunities to find work. Shaw Trust understands the need to address these problems before the long-term unemployed can realise their true career potential. It is essential that youth unemployment across London is tackled so I am pleased that the Community Hub will support 16 to 24 year olds into work. The hub will become an important community asset that will offer a support network to some of Hackney’s most vulnerable. I am confident the Trust’s new Community Hub will help even more people to find work, gain independence and play an active role in the borough.”

Roy O’Shaughnessy, chief executive of Shaw Trust, added:

“Hackney has a diverse and strong local community which our new hub is best placed to support. Shaw Trust is piloting a new approach to supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the borough. Our Community Hub will offer support to the long-term unemployed by increasing the number of training opportunities at the centre and the number of employment advisors on hand to help clients find a permanent job. The hub will also offer our clients access to counselling services, health professionals and money advice – breaking away from the traditional support model by addressing personal issues that can prevent an individual from finding work. Shaw Trust is committed to reducing unemployment in Hackney and I am confident that our Community Hub will support even more disadvantaged people into work.”

About Shaw Trust:

Shaw Trust is a national employment, learning and skills charity that helps people facing disadvantage into work, gain skills and take control of their futures. Over the past thirty years, the Trust has striven to combine its charitable heart with its commercial brain to provide the very best support to the people it was set up to serve. For more information, please visit the Shaw Trust website: http://www.shaw-trust.org.uk/

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