MP visits Salvation Army employment initiative

The Salvation Army runs employment schemes across the country through its churches, like this one pictured at Cradley Heath

MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, Paul Farrelly, was in Chesterton today to meet with people from the local Salvation Army's job scheme.

The Employment Plus Hub is based at the Salvation Army church in Chesterton and helps those out of work to find sustained employment.

It is supported by volunteers and is overseen by Chesterton corps' community manager Teresa Dunn.

The church offers Employment Plus services every week, including drop in and personal appointment sessions, and is open to anyone from the local community.

Major Rose Denyer, church leader of Chesterton corps, said: "People's lives are transformed when they are in employment. Because of this we wanted to be active in offering a compassionate, friendly and warm welcome to people, but also to offer practical help."

The Employment Plus service offers a welcoming atmosphere in which job seekers can search for new roles and complete quality applications.

IT skills, first aid training and manual handling are among some of the courses offered by the Salvation Army's centre, and each year an award ceremony is held to commend those who have achieved a new qualification.

The Salvation Army's Employment Plus Mission Development Officer, Major Alan Aggett, called unemployment "one of the main causes of poverty" and cited this as the reason for the service offered in Chesterton.

He says they also aim to address "social exclusion, isolation, and digital exclusion" through other schemes run by the corps, including community allotments, a community café and a parents and tots group.

Mr Farrelly said of his visit: "It's been great to see some of the great things The Salvation Army is doing to help people in Chesterton find work."

He commended the passion of the volunteers, and praised the practical and positive support they give to individuals struggling within their community.

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