A County Durham project which helps people with disabilities find employment has won multi-million-pound funding to establish its service.
Durham County Council has been successful in its bid for £3.6m from the European Social Fund (ESF) to set up a new supported employment service for people with disabilities.
The new service, called DurhamEnable, will be made up of a team of job coaches who will work one-to-one with people to support and prepare them for secure paid work.
It will work with unemployed residents with a disability who have a goal to re-enter work or seek employment opportunities.
The team will also provide support to people while in work and beyond to ensure they feel confident and settled in the workplace.
DurhamEnable will be set up to support residents with mental health issues, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, autism, and learning disabilities that have a substantial and long-term effect in gaining or retaining suitable and rewarding employment.
It is hoped the new service will help create opportunities and increase the number of people with disabilities in employment in the county.
Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “I am delighted that DurhamEnable has been awarded this funding for a vital service that will help people with disabilities build confidence and stability in the workplace.
“This project will have a positive impact for residents that require a significant level of support and will not only make a difference to their own lives and wellbeing, but also the community in which they live.
“It will also provide a wider pool of talent for employers, helping to create more inclusive workforces and places of work across the county and improving the space for people with disabilities.”
For more information on the supported employment service, email [email protected]