Monday 14th Apr, 2014

Community Challenge Fund open

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector challenged to deliver through the Community Challenge Fund New fund to support people into employment . . .

Local voluntary organisations and social enterprises are being asked to come forward with innovative new ideas to help support at least 325 unemployed and socially disadvantaged people in Suffolk and Norfolk return to work.

Building on the successful model which was developed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) LEP, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) has announced that it will commit £250,000 of funding to deliver a Voluntary and Community Sector “Community Challenge Fund”.

Aimed at organisations and community groups who support people into employment, the Fund will make nine initial awards of £20,000 with a further competitive round later in the year for two follow up grants to the groups that can demonstrate exceptional performance, impact and sustainability. Organisations working in the Voluntary and Social Enterprise (VSE) sector will go through a formal application and assessment process and will need to demonstrate that their projects can improve and develop the skills of people who are experiencing multiple challenges and struggling to access sustained employment. 

Officially launched on Monday 28th April 2014, the project is being administered by Norfolk Community Foundation in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation.

“There is a place in the New Anglia economy for people of all talents and abilities. This new £250,000 Fund, established by the Local Enterprise Partnership, targets and supports those who want to return to work by providing the best possible opportunity to learn new skills and be equipped to apply for jobs across a whole range of businesses and industries. Many of them are global leaders and are keen to employ local people.” said Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia.

“The Community Challenge Fund will provide a number of financial incentives that organisations can access to support job seekers getting work” he added. “In the next year, we have the ambition to help at least 75 people get work through this exciting programme, and to support a further 250 through development of their skills and abilities so they are qualified to apply for a wider range of job vacancies.”

Graham Tuttle, Chief Executive of the Foundation added, “Not only does this Fund provide vital support and improved opportunity for unemployed individuals across our region, it also recognises the importance of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in delivering the projects to help people into employment. Those working in the sector are very well placed to understand the needs, motivations and opportunities within their communities and create initiatives to enable positive change.”

To find out more about the Prize Challenge Fund, or to request an informal discussion , please contact Graham Tuttle by email or on 01603 623958.