This press release arrived today, and very good news it is too:
Community House service to run for another year
Funding to support services at Community House in Wisbech has been secured for another 12 months.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has agreed to give Fenland District Council £48,410 to keep the house in Southwell Road open for the current financial year (2016/17).
The award is for the same amount as last year and will again be directed at helping people on work-related benefits develop the skills and confidence they need to find work.
The council’s bid to the DWP for renewed funding had been supported by the local Job Centre, which said it found the service provided at Community House was an important way of meeting an identified customer need.
A total of 117 people took part in last year’s pilot project, which included a direct referral service from the Job Centre to the house and a programme of community-based activities designed to improve their chances of employment.
Twenty people found jobs through it, 75 were helped to access training and 47 found volunteering opportunities.
Councillor Mike Cornwell, the council’s Cabinet member responsible for communities, said: “We’re delighted DWP has recognised the value of the pilot project and that we can now continue this service, which offers vital support to many of the people who are in most need. I would urge residents who are interested in the service to get in touch to benefit from the opportunity.”
The renewed funding removes the question mark that has been hanging over Community House’s future for the past 18 months. In January it was identified during the council’s comprehensive spending review as one of the services likely to be cut if continued external funding could not be found.
Council officers are continuing to seek further, longer-term funding for the service.