European Social Fund brings £500k to the Solent Area

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed a new contract between Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation and the Department for Work and Pensions, which will bring £500,000 of European investment to the Solent region.

The European funds will be matched by Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth Councils and HIWCF fund holders to create a £1m programme. They will be used over the next two years to help those most in need along pathways to employment; not only young people but also the disabled, those with learning difficulties and many others who find it challenging to enter the workplace.

This programme will be implemented irrespective of the outcome of the EU Referendum on June 23.

In 2016, in addition to the ESF programme, HIWCF will also be supporting three themes: firstly ‘Wellbeing and health’ which is targeting the issues around obesity, isolation and mental health; secondly, ‘Culture in the Community’ which aims to connect local people with their local culture; thirdly, ‘Small Grants for Small Items’ which provides grants of around £500 to purchase essential items such as new chairs, IT equipment, volunteer training and sports equipment.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said:

“I am delighted that the EU has committed funding to the Solent Region to tackle unemployment among our most disadvantaged communities. People from our local area deserve the financial security that comes from a regular wage and it is important that those individuals struggling to find work are provided with the additional guidance and support they need, so they can reap the benefits of a rewarding job.

“This money can make a real difference locally, so I am pleased that the EU has recognised the Solent region in this way.” 

To find out more about the work of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, and how to apply for grants: please visit their website, here: http://www.hantscf.org.uk/