A YOUTH unemployment project has been given £5,000... just three months after receiving the same amount of cash.

The voluntary community company BEST, Bridport Enterprise Supporting Training Ltd, is celebrating winning another commission to work with the unemployed across West Dorset through its Aspire Project.

In December, BEST was awarded almost £5000 by Skills and Learning, this has now been followed by a further commission of more than £5000 from the Project and Partnership Fund, also administered by Skills and Learning.

Project designer and voluntary company director Arthur Woodgate said: “This funding hasn’t been achieved by producing the right noises at the right time, but on delivering the necessary results.”

Those results, Mr Woodgate, said were largely down to Aspire co-ordinator Charlotte Storey.

He said: “Charlotte, an award-winning teacher, injects a breath of fresh air into the training she provides. She has had an amazingly varied career, which has included playing saxophone with the likes of Van Morrison, Rod Stewart and, more locally, Custers Blues Band, appearing on stage at the Edinburgh Festival with comedian Tony Hawks, and acting in West End and Broadway theatre productions.

“In recent years she has specialised in working with those most in need of support – and who doesn’t need this at some point in their lives.

“This led her to spearhead the government’s Aim Higher programme at Oxford University, and to periods of concentrated work in prisons and areas of social deprivation. And, I am very glad to say that Charlotte continues to be thoroughly committed to the Aspire Project after a very full four years, enthusing and inspiring those she works with.”

The Aspire Project started in 2010, when MP Oliver Letwin called it ‘a wonderful project…able to produce quite remarkable results’.

That year saw more than 40 young people, aged 16 to 25, supported into training, learning and employment.

Funding from Dorset County Council’s Adult Learning programme enabled Aspire to branch out to cover Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland, as well as Bridport and the surrounding area.

The initial target of 50 learners was quickly realised and, with additional funding then being provided, a final total of 70 learners was reached. Of these, 58 took up further learning/training or entered employment.

More funding was also secured for 2012-13, with 82 learners being involved, 60 of whom moved on to further learning, training, or entered employment.

For more information about BEST and its work contact a.c.woodgate@ btinternet.com, or telephone 01308 423767.