A new project has launched to help people in Glastonbury not in work to get fit

By Guest

20th Jan 2022 | Local News

Residents in three Somerset towns: Chard, Highbridge and Glastonbury, will be the first to benefit from a new wellbeing initiative funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund and delivered by health and wellbeing specialists, Pluss.

The funding has been awarded by the UK Government and will be administered by Somerset County Council. The project, called Engage Somerset, aims to help 500 people currently not in work, to become more physically active and equip them with the skills they need to move closer to employment.

The project will run from January to the end of June 2022.

Pluss Operations Manager Emma Westcott, said: "We're excited and keen to get things underway. This will be a partnership-led project, drawing from the valuable skills and experience from Somerset-based partners, who we've worked with previously. This will allow us to hit the ground running."

The partnership will include Pluss, SPARK Somerset, Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) and digital specialists, Cosmic. The overall aim is to promote social inclusion and combat poverty, with an underlying aim to support people towards and into employment.

At its heart, Engage Somerset will be a community based social prescribing service. SASP will help people who would like support with their self-confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing, both physical and emotional as they work on the skills they might need to move towards employment. Other planned support will address developing employability skills, such as CV writing, interview skills and effective job searching.

Tailored digital skills training, and support, will be delivered by digital inclusion partner, Cosmic. Topics covered will include the use of smart phones, online banking, social media and using the internet to search for jobs. Digital skills coaching is a fundamental element of this project, allowing participants to become more digitally independent and develop the knowledge and skills that help them make smart choices and take control of their digital lives.

Community Coaches from Pluss will work with people to offer 1:1 coaching and motivational support with topics that include money management, accessing benefits, housing needs, healthy eating and leading a more active lifestyle.

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. Engage Somerset has received £559,678 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

For more information and how to get involved, email [email protected]

TheUK Community Renewal Fundis a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus Members of the Engage Somerset partnership: Pluss is a community interest company and is part of the Seetec Group that supports over 150,000 individuals each year through programmes funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, the European Social Fund and the National Lottery's Community Fund. www.pluss.org.uk. Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) is a charitable trust dedicated to increasing the health and happiness of residents in Somerset through physical activity and sport. www.sasp.co.uk Spark Somerset provide information, advice, training and support to the voluntary and community sector in Somerset. We also run the Volunteer Service, inspiring people to get involved and make a difference in their communities. www.sparksomerset.org.uk

Cosmic is a Social Enterprise which specialises in digital skills training, digital consultancy, IT technical support and website development. www.cosmic.org.uk

Signum Health are a health technology company that build tools for health and wellbeing. By digitally enabling health care provision, Signum Health provides virtual health care services, powered by their in-house developed digital interface. www.signum-health.com

Serio is an applied research unit based within the Research and Innovation department of the University of Plymouth. It offers specialist evaluation and research services and specialises in the evaluation of publicly funded programmes, to provide evidence for the continuous improvement of services and the strengthening of regional development. www.serio.ac.uk

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