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Groups combine to throw a ‘lifeline through football’

An innovative stewarding training scheme designed to help people on benefits get jobs and life skills is due to re-start on 1 October 2105.

The scheme is run by the Harrogate Homeless Project in partnership with Harrogate Town Football Club, Fairfax Community Centre, Lifeline Harrogate and the Department for Work and Pensions. It enables participants to gain a work-based qualification – Entry Level to Stewarding. Students can progress to a Level 2 NVQ in Stewarding after the initial qualification.

The scheme – Lifeline through Football – is funded by a grant from the DWP and has the support of local employers CNG, Envirovent and Evolved Security as well as Annapurna Recruitment based in London. It has completed one run with three of the participants already finding regular work in stewarding or related occupations. All the participants, some of who were previously homeless or living in temporary accommodation, are now living independently.

Course organiser and Harrogate Homeless Project employee Charlotte Fortune said:

Every day I see people who have a troubled family background, fallen on hard times or lived a chaotic lifestyle for one reason or another.

Part of the joy of my job is seeing those people get back into independent living and into employment. That is why this course is so important.

Every person helped back in to work is one more person, or one more family, with greater self-esteem, not claiming benefits and looking to the future.

Anyone interested in joining the next course should be over 18, in receipt of benefits and available to attend an open morning – complete with bacon butties – at Harrogate Town Football Club on 14 September at 11am.

The course starts on 1 October and in addition to the qualification the participants get to play football with the club and are provided with lunch.

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