Agenda item

Thetford Works! (Agenda Item 8)

To receive a report / presentation from Keystone Development Trust.

Minutes:

Paul Tracey was in attendance to present the report on behalf of Neill Stott from Keystone Development Trust.

 

Paul worked for Cambridge University and was currently working with Keystone.  He explained the background to the report.

 

A number of different projects were being run to support people classed as ‘furthest from employment’ back into work.  The projects were focussed in areas of long-term unemployment in the local area.

 

The Keystone approach and methodology were explained in the report.  Time was taken to build relationships with each person.  The work clubs were an essential component of the projects and had started in November 2010.  There was now an adult and a school leavers work club with solutions tailored to specific problems.

 

The effectiveness of the clubs could be demonstrated by the fact that 67 clients had signed up since November 2010 and eight of those were now in employment and a further ten had been guided into volunteering opportunities.  This was considered to be a very good result and success was not just about getting people into employment, but also about building confidence and self-esteem.

 

Due to the significant demand Keystone was looking for ways to continue and extend the work clubs and were requesting £15,000 to enable three more work clubs: two in Thetford and one in Attleborough (although they could be flexible about locations).  The funding would pay for the support workers.

 

Tim Peacock asked what supporting evidence there was to prove the level of need in specific locations.  He thought the clubs were a great idea but felt that research was needed to identify areas most in need.  He also sought assurance that the clubs would benefit Breckland residents.

 

Paul Tracey agreed that when planning future clubs more evidence should be researched to decide on their location.  The current clubs had been situated on an estate known to have high unemployment levels.  They were willing to deliver anywhere although travel costs might have slight implications.

 

Tony Dickens asked how evidence for the right locations could be found and it was noted that the Office of National Statistics held data which might help.  Norfolk Insight (www.norfolkinsight.org.uk) also had a database which could be searched down to very small geographical areas.  (Information attached)

 

George Hayes asked if there was any connection between the work clubs and the NEAT programmes and Paul Tracey advised that the young persons clubs worked closely with Connexions and other agencies. 

 

Jan Godfrey asked how the clubs operated and was advised that there were 15 young persons at each club for six or seven, one-to-one sessions which were delivered once a week. 

 

Members debated the issues and various suggestions were made about potential areas for the additional clubs.  Some members wanted to ensure that Breckland residents benefitted from the additional clubs (there was some concern about Keystone’s links with Suffolk authorities).  There was also a clear desire for new clubs to be located where need was greatest.

 

The Chairman asked that these concerns were borne in mind when the three new clubs were planned.

 

RESOLVED that £15,000 funding be released to support three additional work clubs.

Supporting documents: