Plans for a job club in Lyme Regis are beginning to take shape, with Magna Housing Association being the latest benefactor.
The job club will be launched in September by Lyme Regis Development Trust, which operates from the St Michael’s Business Centre and was set up in 1998 to promote the economic and social well-being of Lyme and the surrounding area.
Trust chief executive Peter Jeffs said: “For many years, we’ve given careers advice, some to people referred to us by the Job Centre, and we’ve also worked with the job club in Axminster. Our careers advisers thought it would be great if we had our own job club on our doorstep, especially as we already give careers advice and provide training here. But we needed start-up funding to do it. We applied to Magna’s community initiative fund, as we know the job club will be beneficial to the association’s residents and the wider community. We were delighted to be successful in obtaining this valuable funding.”
Magna resident Martin Kendrick, a member of the community initiative fund forum which has just awarded the trust £1,000, said: “Something like this is really important for Lyme, which is isolated because of its position. It’s not always easy to get to Axminster or Bridport and a job club, with peer support and easy access to training and advice, in Lyme will be a great asset.”
Ken Bodycombe, Magna’s community investment officer, said forum members felt a job club could be very useful to Magna residents who were out of work.
“The Lyme Regis Development Trust does a great job and we were very happy to support the job club,” he added. “We will also be looking at ways we can work together so we can reach out to our residents and let them know about the interesting things going on here at St Michael’s Business Centre.”
The trust’s offices are just across the corridor from its LymeNet project. An educational facility for local people, many of whom are elderly, unemployed or in receipt of benefits, LymeNet offers individually tailored training in reading and writing, numeracy, ICT and general life skills in a friendly and welcoming environment. It also provides general facilities such as fax, photocopying, and internet access for a small charge.
Peter Jeffs said the job club would be held on the same day and time each week and provide an informal, relaxed setting for people seeking professional advice and information about applying for jobs and also talking to others in similar situations.
“It’s not just for the long-term unemployed, it’s for anyone looking for work, such as women going back into the job market after having a family, or those with seasonal jobs who need to do something in the winter,” he said.
Magna’s community initiative fund has given more than £1million to projects around the area over the last 12 years.