A project named New Horizons run by the CHS Group has helped more than 350 people across Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk get ‘back on track’.
In the last three years, the project which is run in collaboration with seven other partner organisations, including the University of Cambridge has helped 370 out-of-work individuals across Cambridgeshire to take control of their finances, get online and get closer to work.
Working with men and women in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and West Norfolk, New Horizons coaches offer one to one support for people who are not currently in work.
It offers up to 20 hours coaching on understanding financial situations, getting back to work and getting online, including a Chromebook loan scheme for people who are eligible.
The team also manages a user-friendly website which offers support and easy to understand information.
Lynne McAulay, New Horizons project manager at CHS Group, commented: “Some of the most deprived areas in England are located in the eastern region. And, unfortunately, those who are unemployed often already have significant barriers to the job market, such as debt, disability and lack of digital knowledge.
“With New Horizons we saw an opportunity to help these individuals get back on track by not just offering job-seeking advice, but by providing tailored coaching to help them with their money and to hone their digital skills.”
The programme is run with the help of Dr Gemma Burgess and her team at the Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research.
The team’s researchers helped to design the programme, developed tools to assess the scale of issues faced by each participant, and have been monitoring and evaluating the programme as it progresses.