WDH’s Foundation Grant Scheme

Employment/Training | Grant-making | Poverty
WDHYorkshire & Humbersidewww.wdh.co.uk/WDHFoundation/
What is the project?

Popular options include support for careers in construction, haulage, beauty therapy, health and safety, and security. Grant recipients receive up to £1,500. Courses can also be part-funded with partner organisations. Applications for requests of up to £250 can be fast-tracked if an applicant needs the award to take up an offer of work immediately.

The scheme supports WDH’s strategic aims of supporting tenants and communities to achieve their aspirations and ambitions and ensuring a highly skilled, capable and resilient workforce.

Who is the project targeted at?

Anyone living in one of WDH’s properties over the age of 16 who meets the scheme criteria can apply.

Why did the project come about?

The project began in 2014 to provide grants to those who live in a WDH property. It was set up to help people who, without some basic support, would not be able to pursue training or development opportunities.

How was this project implemented?

The scheme is accessibly advertised through the WDH website, JobCentre Plus, local community groups, radio advertisements and social media. The grant is also advertised by WDH’s community employment advisors (CEAs). The CEAssupport applicants with searching for jobs, e-mail and online applications, how to write a CV or cover letter, interview skills and tips, and help to find the right training course or volunteer opportunity. To date, the CEAs have helped more than 4,500 people, referring over 2,000 to appropriate training and supporting over 1,400 into employment.

How was this project funded?

The project is funded by monies secured through the community benefit clause within in WDH’s contract with Wolseley Integrated Services (WIS).

The grant scheme is managed by WDH and delivered in partnership with local course providers.

Outcomes so far

Our Foundation Grant Scheme was established in 2014 and has improved employment opportunities for more than 200 tenants.

In 2019/2020, the scheme ran over four windows with 93 applicants in WDH’s neighbourhoods benefitting from the scheme. A total of £96,970.51 in funding was awarded.

Just over half (53%) of grant recipients are satisfied with their employment prospects before receiving a Foundation Grant award, and this increases to 90% after course completion. Feedback from those who completed courses also highlights the impact the scheme has had on improving general wellbeing.
Currently, 86% of grant recipients surveyed after completing their courses say the grant has helped them to find a new job. The most recent survey asked what being given the grant meant and the responses around finding employment were particularly encouraging given the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the labour market. Responses included:

“[The grant] Got me into work! It got me a good job straight away. I was out of work and couldn't get anything before this.”

“I'm so happy that I got the award and got a job as a lorry driver within two weeks of completing the course!”

“I'm more happy than before and I have more money.”
“Life is a hell of a lot easier. As soon as I put Class 1 on my application form everyone wants to snap you up. This gave me a real boost. Thank you, it's a great scheme.”

“Lifelong job and meant that I can always afford to live, because I now earn £30,000 per year. The grant is brilliant and really helps give people a chance... It's just a chance people need.”

Future plans

Funding for the grant is currently secure and the grant terms are regularly reviewed to ensure the grant is sustainable.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has developed, the grant has been promoted to and supported more people than ever before who have lost their jobs and / or needed to retrain.

With a new digital application process in place, increased partnership working and additional careers support for applicants, the scheme continues to go from strength to strength, and it is our intention to further evaluate the impact of the scheme in 2021 / 2022.

Contact Details

Claire Vinent, Customer Insight Manager, WDH
cvinent@wdh.co.uk

01977 724568