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Charles Burrell Centre project is going Full Steam Ahead to reach target

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A Thetford project to help get people back into the workplace has seen huge success in its first six months.

The Full Steam Ahead initiative, part of the Charles Burrell Centre, began at the end of April and aimed to support around 80 individuals over a two-year period into employment.

So far, it has seen 12 of its participants get jobs and has 13 currently enrolled in the scheme.

Julie Smith, left, with Kelly Birch who managed to get work through the project
Julie Smith, left, with Kelly Birch who managed to get work through the project

Lyn Keane, the project’s co-ordinator, said: “The project is gaining momentum, we are working with a wide variety of people, they are gaining employment in their chosen field and to suit their circumstances which may have been a hurdle previously.

“More and more people are hearing about the project and we will continue to strive to assist as many as possible.”

Along with the project’s administrator, Julie Smith, participants in the £86,376 initiative receive one to one support, work experience, CV and cover letter writing assistance, interview skills and even basic IT training.

Kelly Birch, one of the project’s success stories, is a single parent who lives just outside of the town and wanted to get back into work.

After gaining experience from Full Steam Ahead, she now works in a school canteen.

She said: “They understood my circumstances and how hard it was finding the right job to work around my son.

“I am grateful for their help with my CV and cover letter and also for putting me on a first aid course. The Charles Burrell Centre is a breath of fresh air.”

For details about the project, go to www.charlesburrellcentre.org.uk

The Charles Burrell Centre have also launched a community project called Coats For Kids.

People are being asked to donate quality second hand winter coats for children aged from one to 11 years old.

The coats taken into the centre will then be distributed to vulnerable children in and around Thetford.