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Rolling success at Cheetwood job club

A work and enterprise club in Cheetham Hill, Manchester is having runaway success with its members, helping 25 residents in the area to find employment since it opened its doors in 2012.

The club, which operates on a drop-in basis and is run by Upturn Enterprise in partnership with housing provider Guinness Northern Counties, has also supported a further 17 people into volunteer roles and almost 50 people have accessed free courses and qualifications through the club in its first year.

Mother of three, 38-year-old Teresa Graham, is just one of the many success stories to come out of the Cheetwood work and enterprise club.

After spending six months searching for work with no success, Ms Graham was offered a job within three days of attending the club at the Cheetwood Centre and now works as a mental health support worker for Medac.

Ms Graham, from Copthall Lane, Cheetham Hill, who is also a foster carer, said: ”I found the job club very helpful indeed. This is actually the 2nd job they have helped me to find.

I was originally working in a care home doing 12 hour shifts but then I took in four foster children and needed to change what I was doing. I’m now doing around 18 hours a week which fits in much better.

Kelly and the team at the job club were very accommodating and I’ve always felt they go out of their way for you.”

The club is run by Upturn’s Kelly Bainbridge and Mary Jo Noonan, both of whom are local residents who have been trained to help others find employment and suitable training courses.

Kelly Bainbridge said: “The club is an informal, friendly group in the heart of the Cheetwood community where residents can feel comfortable and be supported to achieve their ambitions. Everyone who attends the club is there for the same reasons and sharing information between people often helps to boost people’s confidence and keep each other motivated.”

Courses provided by partners through the job club, include Manchester College, FC United and Anxiety UK, and have included health and social care, textiles and creativity, ESOL and sports development coaching.

Sharon Lewis, access to work manager from Guinness Northern Counties, said: “Working with Upturn, the Cheetwood Centre, Kelly, Mary Jo and training partners has been a great success. They have created a positive and safe environment where residents can develop their skills, confidence and motivation and the figures reflect how hard the residents have worked and their commitment to progressing their careers. Everyone involved in the club should be very proud of their achievements.”

Following the success of the Cheetwood work & enterprise club, Guinness Northern Counties and Upturn have now established new clubs in Royton, Oldham and Hulme, Manchester and two new clubs in Salford are planned in the summer.

Guinness Northern Counties is also working in partnership with The West Gorton Works, based in the Fujitsu Tower Community Rooms, which is an employer led one-stop-shop supporting local people to find jobs, develop skills and access training courses and advice. Please call Upturn Enterprise on 0161 652 9000 for more information on any of the clubs.

Picture note: (from left to right) Teresa Graham, with Kelly Bainbridge and Sharon Lewis at the Work & Enterprise Club, Cheetwood.

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