A pioneering, ten year project to help tackle unemployment and poverty is about to take off in Nuneaton with the aim of raising the aspirations of local people and inspiring them into work.
The bold, outreach programme is the brainchild of Coventry and Warwickshire charity “Together for Change” (TFC) and will be centred at the former Conservative Club in Newdegate Street, Nuneaton.
The far-reaching, Christian initiative is called ‘Saints’ and will begin in October with chief executive Reverend Jet Jones convinced it will have a major impact on the town and its people over the next decade.
Jet said: “We’ve agreed a ten year lease on the building, with an option to buy, so this is an ambitious, long-term project aimed at making a positive difference in Nuneaton.
“Our first task is to transform the downstairs area which used to be the ‘Saints No More’ nightclub before moving up stairs to restore St George’s Hall on the first floor.
“It’s certainly a great feeling to be breathing new life into this grand, old building, especially as we’re sure it will provide a real boost for the town centre.
“Our main aim, though, is to breathe new life into the whole of Nuneaton by providing new skills, new opportunities and new aspirations. ”
The inspirational Saints project is being funded by the Diocese of Coventry and CUF, a national network that supports local charities, although part of Jet’s role is to attract additional financial support for the scheme.
She’s already succeeded in gaining the enthusiastic backing of Nuneaton churches with local ministers, church-goers and volunteers keen to play a key part.
Jet explained: “The reception from Nuneaton’s churches has been terrific and we’re delighted to have them on board right from the start.
“The plan is to roll out the scheme in three phases, beginning with an ‘Enterprise and Equip’ programme.
“We’ll be running a ‘Training Zone’ in partnership with local colleges to provide educational and creative courses ranging from IT, English and Maths to Painting, Arts and Craft.
“There’ll be an ‘Enterprise Zone’ to encourage local people to start their own businesses or to hire stalls and sell their own produce.
“There’ll also be a family friendly café with a children’s play area too, so anyone can drop in to see for themselves what we’re all about.”
Phases Two and Three will be introduced as the £500,000 renovation of the old St George’s Hall develops.
‘Sport and Support’ will focus on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing while ‘Create and Connect’ will centre on the arts, by encouraging activities such as dance, theatre, music and photography.
Jet concluded: “It’s a wide-ranging strategy to offer new opportunities for the unemployed in Nuneaton; to inspire them and fire their aspirations and in doing so, help reduce poverty in the town.
“I realise it’s a huge task, a challenging undertaking but I believe we can and we will make a real difference.”
For more information on the Saints project, visit: www.saintsnuneaton.org or at ‘saintsnuneaton’ on social media.
If you would like to donate or become involved in the project, contact Reverent Jet Jones at: email@example.com.