Supporting families with multiple problems: an ESF project in Widnes
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Part of:
- European Social Fund and families with multiple problems: case studies, ESF case studies: 2007 to 2013 programme, Employment, and Poverty and social justice
- 15 May 2014
How ESF support for families with multiple problems helps them into education, training and work.
|ESF funding||Department for Work and Pensions|
|ESF target group||Families|
Chris was recovering from alcoholism and a recent period of homelessness, He lacked confidence and a personal support network. European Social Fund (ESF) support for families with multiple problems provided support and advice through Reed In Partnership and helped him get his life back on track.
After a short time in a YMCA Chris managed to get a small flat, and started to deal with other issues with his adviser from Reed, Shirley.
Chris was most worried about his lack of IT skills. He was concerned that Jobcentre staff would stop or reduce his benefits and he would become homeless again as a result of not being able to search online for work. Shirley arranged for him to attend Reed in Partnership’s digital inclusion course to learn basic IT skills. Chris is now able to use a computer and he can email, attach documents and search the internet.
It was easier than I thought and the tutor was really patient and helpful. Afterwards I could do all the things that the Jobcentre wanted me to do and I was proud of myself.
With his new IT skills and motivation, Chris was enrolled onto 2 extra courses – Planning For Success and 3G Mindset. The courses helped to boost his confidence and prepare him for the workplace.
I went on the courses with a group of other people that were all in the same position as me and it made me not feel isolated, increased my confidence and I made some good friends from it.
It wasn’t just the long term goals the programme helped with – it was the small emergencies too. At Christmas, Chris was without food due to a delay in payment of benefits. Shirley arranged for Chris to visit a food bank via Halton Housing where he was given some basic supplies – enough to feed him until his money was available.
Running his own business
Halton Housing were also able to fund Chris’s Construction Skills Certification Scheme qualification so he could work in construction. He also worked with an Enterprise Broker on a business plan to become a self-employed home maintenance worker. After a lot of hard work and perseverance Chris is now runs his own business and is concentrating on building his customer base.
I’m thrilled to say that I have now come off drugs and alcohol, am very settled in my home, feel more secure in my life and have all these little plans going on in my head which I know will come true.
Read more about the European Social Fund 2007 to 2013
Published: 15 May 2014