High Peak Foodbank serves up coaching to help clients back to work

Work coaches Jane Kirk-Bagshaw and Lizzie Walton at High Peak Foodbank. Photo contributed.
Work coaches Jane Kirk-Bagshaw and Lizzie Walton at High Peak Foodbank. Photo contributed.

A local food bank has launched a ground-breaking work and skills programme.

The innovative project by High Peak Foodbank, funded by the European Social Fund, involves one-to-one coaching with clients to increase their employability by the end of an eight-week programme.

Clients receive coaching for one hour each week, including help with writing CVs, applying for jobs, interview skills and enrolling on courses.

They also get practical work experience within the food bank, as well as help developing life skills.

Jane Kirk-Bagshaw, one of the coaches, said: “The unique approach that we are able to employ, linking the skills our clients gain while on the programme with the requirements in the real workplace, is making the scheme such a success. The work and skills programme has so far been very well received within the local community and the uptake of places has been excellent with early success in helping clients find work and come off benefits and a number of clients enrolling on maths, English and IT courses to improve their chances of finding jobs in the future.

“Our aim at High Peak Foodbank is not just to provide short-term relief for those facing food poverty, but to help people with the reasons that have caused them to need a foodbank in the first place.

“The work and skills programme is a key element in helping us achieve this aim as we believe that for most people the best way out of poverty is through employment.”

To find out more, visit www.highpeakfoodbank.co.uk or call 01298 214926.