Next month Taunton is playing host to Spring Forward, an event taking place to encourage anyone who is in receipt of benefits to get involved in community projects. Prospects, the employment, education and skills company working with people who are long term unemployed, and the job centres in Taunton, Bridgwater and Minehead have joined forces to get people from across Taunton Deane, Sedgemoor and West Somerset inspired to help their local communities.
People who are long term unemployed are more likely to be in poor health, with higher use of medication and hospital admissions. Sadly if you are unemployed your general health is likely to suffer and you are at twice the risk of mental health problems and have a 20% higher death rate*. But for many people who are long term unemployed getting back into work is difficult, not only do employers prefer people with regular work histories, but people who are out of work often lack critical workplace skills.
More and more employers seek to recruit staff who have good communication skills, people skills, confidence and who work well in a team. All skills that many people who are long term unemployed lack or have lost. Being unemployed affects your self esteem and you can feel isolated from your friends, neighbours and communities, because we are often defined by what we do, when we are without the structure work brings, we lose our sense of self worth.
To help people rebuild their lives we need to help them find a sense of purpose. Spring Forward is a great way to start, bringing together jobseekers and their families with more than 20 different community projects. There is clear evidence that work is beneficial, and a great first step is getting involved in your local community. You will benefit by making new friends, improving your employability and people skills, securing valuable experience to impress a future employer and, most importantly, gaining a sense of purpose, improving your mental and physical health and long term life chances.
The Mayor of Taunton, Councillor Marcia Hill, will be visiting the event meeting the visitors and the organisations involved. These already include: St Johns Ambulance Service, Somerset Skills and Learning, Taunton Football Club, the Model Railway, Lifeboats, Bugfest, Scope, Walk Well, Knit & Knatter, the Princes Trust, Kingston Exotics, Minehead Fishing Club, Bridgwater & Taunton Waterways, Caledonian Dancing Group, British Heart Foundation as well as a Bridgwater carnival club and a self defence club.
Free to attend, Spring Forward will be held at the Lawns, the former British Legion, Mary Street, Taunton on Tuesday 1 March, between 10 am and 12 noon.
If you would like to come along to Spring Forward or would like to find out more about getting involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospects delivers the Work Programme on behalf of the DWP across the South West, supporting people who are long term unemployed back into meaningful work. Visit http://www.gettingthesouthwestworking.co.uk
/ for more information.
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Notes to Editor
Is work good for your health and wellbeing? http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/workplacehealth/Pages/work-is-good-for-health.aspx
Attached images, volunteers beach clearing and completing forestry skills as part of Prospects Work Programme.
The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of education, employment and skills services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what we do is the drive to improve the life chances, skills and aspirations of everyone we support. Each year we support more than 500,000 young people and adults.
Prospects is the 13th largest employee owned company in the UK and is in the National Centre for Diversity 100 index. Our work supports people from early years childcare into retirement, Prospects is the largest employer of careers advisers in the country.
For more information please visit: www.prospects.co.uk
Alona de Havilland
07790 803882 or 01823 362804