Group gets £70,000 to help Sunderland’s unemployed find work

The Job Club at Pallion Action Group - East Moor Road, Pallion.
The Job Club at Pallion Action Group - East Moor Road, Pallion.
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JOB hunters are set to get a new year boost from £70,000 of council funding.

Pallion Action Group’s Job Club will get its share of the cash in January and will use it to roll out the Job Club in community centres across the West Area.

The Job Club at Pallion Action Group - East Moor Road, Pallion.

The Job Club at Pallion Action Group - East Moor Road, Pallion.

Karen Wood, community development officer at Pallion Action Group (PAG), said the money was “fantastic news”.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “The money has been a lovely little cash injection.

“The beauty of getting the money is that we can make a really difference. We are here to help the community.”

The funding comes from Sunderland City Council’s West Area Committee Strategic initiatives budget, to help local communities.

Karen said councillors were impressed with the work the Job Club was doing.

She said: “The feedback was that they were in awe of how many people are coming and how comfortable people feel here.

“It’s nice to know our council see the difference we are making and do want to support us.”

The morning service launched just under a year ago and is now used by about 25 people at the charity’s headquarters in East Moor Road, where they seek advice about everything from writing a CV to applying for benefits.

Organisations including Fiscus and the National Careers Service are on hand to help, and Karen said the programme wouldn’t work without their support.

She added: “We are in the middle of a massive recession, and sometimes people just don’t know where to turn for help – we should all be helping each other.

“It’s great that the work we are doing is getting recognised.”

The Job Club programme will be implemented in Pallion Ward, St Anne’s Ward and Silksworth Ward when the first funding donation is made in January.

PAG, which will celebrate its 21st anniversary next year, remains the hub of the operation, which runs Monday and Thursday, 8.30am to 4pm, and Tuesdays, 8.30am to 12.30pm.

Councillor Peter Gibson, chairman of the West Area Committee, said: “One of the roles of the committee is to work with local partners, including the voluntary and business sectors, to see how we can improve employment and training prospects for people in our community.

“This funding will support setting up a network of work clubs to the same high standards to help achieve these aims. Based at community groups, these clubs can provide job seekers with focused attention on meeting their individual needs.

“The clubs have already successfully helped local people identify and develop their skills to find jobs, and are part of a co-ordinated approach which includes providing local businesses with support to take on apprentices and helping people to start their own businesses.”