Lotto hopes for Mansfield social enterprise

A Mansfield charity which helps the long-term unemployed get back into work has been nominated for a prestigious lottery award.

Untapped Resource has been nominated in the environment section of the 2013 National Lottery Awards - an annual search to find the UK’s favourite lotto-funded projects - for its Stepping Up initiative.

Set up in 2009, the Botany Avenue-based social enterprise offers work-based placements and training in business recycling , and helps people who have been on the job market for a long time the key skills they need to find paid work in the future.

The three-year £300,000 grant has allowed the organisation to move to larger premises and open a training centre, as well as covering the costs of staffing and equipment following an increased demand for the service.

Maria Gibson, from the organisation, said: “So far we have organised 107 placements for people who were long-term unemployed.

“Of these, 27 people are now in some form of work and the number is still growing.

“We instill a lot of work-related skills in the people we work with, from simply getting up in the morning, to interview techniques , and developing an awareness of what employers are looking for.”

The project has recently forged links with Job Centre Plus and local homeless centres including the Kirkby Trust and Stoneham, which now refer their clients for one-day-a-week work placements.

To vote for Untapped Resource Stepping Up project, go to http://lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards and click on the environment section.