Horden Youth Club and Community Centre has received over £9,000 in funding thanks to the Coalfields Community Investment Programme, delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation dedicated to supporting former mining towns and villages.  

The funds, which total £9,104, will contribute towards expanding the local job club, offering valuable employment advice to residents.

The monies received by the charity, which supports social inclusion by bringing people together to take part in a diverse range of activities and courses, has helped to maintain and expand the job club, which is available for 8 hours a week.

The job club upskills and educates participants in order for them to become work ready and to access opportunities to secure part and full-time employment.

Training, advice and support provided by the job club has seen 8 local residents gain employment, 15 undertake a basic food hygiene course, 10 complete a first aid course and a further 10 complete a level 2 qualification in English and Maths. As well as giving people additional skills, the qualifications will further improve the prospects of participants when looking for work.

Basic computing skills are also provided by the community centre which ensures residents, who are often not computer literate, are able to apply for jobs online update their CVs and have access to the online benefits platform.

As one of the top 3% most deprived areas in the country the Coalfield Regeneration Trust has identified Horden as a priority for action and is just one of the five towns in the country that has become part of its Communities That Work Programme. By reaching out and working with charities and partners such as the Community Centre the organisation is able to provide the help and support needed to make a lasting and positive impact on the area.

Stephen Clark, manager at Horden Youth Club and Community Centre, comments: “The funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has made a real difference to the lives of residents living here in Horden. A combination of high competition for jobs and a general lack of qualifications has created the perfect storm for unemployment. Providing advice and qualifications can drastically improve the prospects of those who attend the job clubs.”

“By running the ‘Learn My Way’ online basic computing course we are able to provide our service users with access to systems that allow them to build on their IT skills. This then supports job searches and where necessary the need to access benefits whilst also reducing the risk of having contributions sanctioned. For every section completed, learners are able to print out a certificate and include this on their CV.”

Andy Lock, Head of Operations (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “Horden Youth Club and Community Centre is pivotal to restoring Horden to the thriving town it once was.  Unemployment is an ongoing issue throughout former mining towns and villages and Horden is no exception.”

“Over 50 people have benefited from the funding and this is testament to the hard work of Steve and the team. By providing an outlet for coalfield residents to upskill themselves and receive valuable advice we are able to work together and deliver great results with our partners in these communities.”

Delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Coalfields Community Investment Programme supports organisations and programmes of activity that meet with three key criteria; to address skills, employment or health.