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Charities join forces to get vulnerable young Norfolk people into work

PUBLISHED: 14:08 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:48 27 December 2017

The charities involved with the On Track partnership. Picture: TOM OXLEY CONSULTANCY

The charities involved with the On Track partnership. Picture: TOM OXLEY CONSULTANCY

Tom Oxley Consultancy

Vulnerable unemployed young people are being helped into work thanks to charities joining forces.

The On Track project, which will cost £1.7m over the next two years, is supporting 120 people aged 16-24 across Norfolk through one-to-one coaching, vocational work experience and further education colleges.

Led by the Matthew Project, On Track is a partnership between YMCA Norfolk, the Prince’s Trust, ACE, GYROS and NANSA.

Issues faced by people helped by the project include mental health problems, learning difficulties, homelessness and drug addiction.

Rachel Chapman, On Track manager, said: “The project helps people in breaking down barriers through support and training. It gives them some confidence.

“The young people we help are struggling to get by and the idea of On Track is to show them they can learn, have fun and achieve things.”

Skills taught to the teenagers and young adults include catering, bricklaying, tiling and retail.

More than half of the people helped so far are from Norwich.

Other people supported by trained coaches are from King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth.

Since On Track was launched by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, about eight people have started college courses and 12 have got jobs.

“It is very easy for the young people to start something but much more difficult for them to maintain it. On Track is part of building better opportunities,” Mrs Chapman added.

“We give them that hope that they can start taking steps to control their lives rather than be at the mercy of the system.

“Sometimes they are small steps, but they are steps.”

She said the project was also good for social and life skills, which helped vulnerable young people maintain jobs.

The project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund, as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme.

It works with businesses, including facilities management group Norse, employs nine staff, youth workers and volunteers.

One-to-one coaching support can be given at a variety of locations, including rural areas or people’s homes.

For more information email contact@ontracknorfolk.org, call 01603 723845 or follow @ontracknorfolk on Twitter.

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