Talent Match receives £2m additional funding | Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council

by James Clarke
3 weeks ago
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Young People in the Black Country receive further support thanks to over £2 million of National Lottery cash

Young people in the Black Country will continue to receive support to help them build a better future thanks to additional money from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Talent Match Black Country, led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, has been awarded over £2 million of extra funding to build on the great work it has achieved over the last 4.5 years. It’s one of only three Talent Match partnerships in England to secure the money after it met a number of criteria, including bringing in match funding.

Talent Match is a five-year-long, £108 million programme, funded from National Lottery Good Causes money, and working in 21 Local Enterprise Partnership areas in England which experience high levels of youth unemployment. The programme supports young people aged 18 to 24 who need extra support to help them along the path to employment. Over the past 4.5 years, the programme has engaged over 25,000 young people, with almost 7,000 of these securing employment.

The programme is due to end in 2019, but Talent Match partnerships in the Black Country, Humber and Liverpool have been awarded almost £9 million to build upon their work with new projects intended to maximise development, embed learning and widen the impact of existing achievement.

Talent Match Black Country has been awarded £2,186,274 over three years after securing match funding of £2,266,533 from the European Social Fund. The money will be used across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton to develop a mentoring support service for 600 young people, aged 17-29, with an offending background, including those on release from prison. The aim of the work will be to improve the confidence, optimism and skills of the young people so they are more able to access job opportunities and stop re-offending.

Ian Darch, Chief Executive of Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council (WVSC) said: “A huge thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for recognising the impact that Black Country Talent Match has had on the lives of young people in the Black Country. This is brilliant news and a testament to the great work of our partners and WVSC staff who have worked on the Talent Match project over the past 4.5 years.

“It illustrates that Voluntary Sector-led partnerships can deliver really positive outcomes, in this case on the lives of young people facing huge barriers to progression.  These young people know best what is needed to break down the barriers that they face, and are therefore at the very heart of all aspects of the project, including its governance. The job of our partnership will be to continue to work alongside, support and encourage our most disadvantaged young people on their journeys towards lives that fulfil their full potential.”

Scott Hignett, Head of Funding for Talent Match at the Big Lottery Fund said: “We are delighted to be able to give further funding to three Talent Match partnerships in England. This extra money will enable them to consolidate on the great work they have done so far, working with young people to help them develop solutions to tackle the barriers they are facing.

“Along with the match funding they have secured, this money from National Lottery players will continue to support young people in the Black Country and ensure learning, partnerships and impact made in the area is broadened and strengthened.”

To find out more about Talent Match Black Country, visit https://www.bctalentmatch.com/

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