£500k fund will help Northampton addicts and homeless people into jobs

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A charity in Northampton has been handed almost half a million pounds to help teach new skills to homeless people and get them into work.

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £473,190 to Northampton Hope Centre, based in Oasis House, The Mounts, through the Reaching Communities programme.

Adrian Pryce, acting general manger of the Hope Centre, said: “The difference between us and the job centre is that we are dealing with the most difficult to reach group of people who. perhaps, had a lack of decent parenting.

“They have to be taught quite basic things like turning up on time, hygiene, communications skills. Things most people take for granted.”

The money will pay for three new members of staff giving support before they get a job and afterwards.

Northampton South MP David Mackintosh, who is a patron of the Hope Centre, said: “This Lottery funding is fantastic news for the Hope Centre, which does brilliant work for homeless people in Northampton. It will make a big difference helping some of the most vulnerable members of society.”

The charity is among 12 in the county to benefit from thousands of pounds from The Big Lottery Fund.

Emma Twyning, Head of Stakeholder Relations at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We believe that people should be in the lead in improving their lives and communities. We focus on the skills, assets and energy that people can draw upon and the potential in their ideas. Reaching Communities grants range from £10,000 upwards and funding can last for up to five years.”

The Northamptonshire funds went to:

Northampton Hope Centre (£473,190) - aimed at unemployed people who may have been previously homeless, may be misusing drug and alcohol, and/or have mental health issues. People will be referred to the project and a range of regular activities such as cookery and gardening A range of opportunities will be available including peer mentoring, work placements with local businesses.

Rockin’ Roadrunner (£10,OOO) - mini live music festival in a local park for people with disabilities.

Stroke Association, Corby (£9,996) - theatre project to foster empathy for stroke victims.

Sir Christopher Hatton Academy, Wellingborough (£9,960) - online forum so children can raise issues affecting them.

The Community Court Yard Ltd. (£9,769) - fortnightly cafe event called Speakers Cafe to create realtions between old and young and also teach job skills.

Pink Rooster (£9,992) - music therapy sessions for people with dementia. Aims reduce their stress, anxiety or depression.

Adrenaline Alley, Corby (£10,000) - lift for people with disabilities.

Weedon Village Hall (£8,437) - improved wheelchair access to main entrance.

Northamptonshire Development Society (£10,000) - support in core school subjects and football sessions for disadvantaged young people.

Brixworth Music Festival (£4,200) - to deliver the week-long festival.

Mpower (£10,000) - various projects to raise awareness of their services for people with life-limiting illnesses.

Irthlingborough Old People’s Welfare Association (£3,995) - upgrade of kitchen, which can be used by the public.