With a shared vision to make HU6 a great place to live, a charity is creating opportunities for residents of North Hull Estate through its Flying Start and Business Advisory projects.
People who’ve been out of work long-term face multiple barriers to employment. Accessing services, learning new skills, gaining qualifications and engaging in employment opportunities helps to remove those barriers.
Created by Unity in Community (Unity), Flying Start includes six months of support, digital access and advice, via its current training facility on Endike Lane in Hull.
The Business Advisory Service helps and mentors individuals to achieve their business ambitions, whether starting-up or already established but in need of a fresh pair of eyes on a stagnant company.
A great success story is mum of two, Kelly Bowler. She had been selling children’s clothes on eBay and recognised an opportunity to grow a business out of it. She has also started a part-time job with a local letting agent, Higson Homes based on Chanterlands Avenue in Hull.
Kelly explains: “Training at Unity gave me an unexpected boost in confidence. First of all I completed my English and functional skills and then took on Level II digital skills which taught me how to use e-commerce platforms, so that I can make more of selling online.
“Tilly Tyson from the Business Advisory Service at Unity helped me to draw up a business plan and we’re also exploring different products to sell. This whole experience has become so much more valuable to me than I realised it would, especially as I have found a part-time job through Unity’s networks. I did enjoy being a stay at home mum, but now I have purpose, something just for me and I feel like a more a positive role model for my daughters who see that I have get-up-and-go.
“The good thing about training at Unity is the flexibility. I come into the centre for help and advice but I can complete the work online at any time. I take my laptop with me everywhere I go and can fit all the learning around my family.
“I’ve made new friends at Unity and feel so much more confident in myself and about my future.”
Joni Higson is the Managing Director of Higson Homes. She was introduced to Kelly though Unity and says: “When we recruit staff for the lettings and management side of our business, we are not usually looking for previous experience as we prefer to provide our own training. During the interview process, Kelly really stood out as having a great personality, confident and bubbly. We were really pleased when she accepted our job offer.
“I think Unity is a fantastic organisation and other employers would benefit from getting involved. Helping people gain the skills, qualifications and confidence to look for work is great for the individuals and the community as a whole.”
Sometimes the first step is the hardest but, once you're through the door you will wonder why you didn't do it years ago!
— Unity in Community (@unity501) January 22, 2020
Liam Woods is the Project Manager at Unity. He says: “Local residents are invited to drop-in week this week to register and find out more about training courses, qualifications and employment opportunities.
“We can also do a Better Off Calculation to illustrate how individuals would be better off financially when they are in work.
“Our shared vision is to make HU6 a great place for people to live and we are currently running numerous projects to bring us together as a community, helping people to help themselves.
“In the HU6 area many residents have issues with substance misuse, housing and mental health. Our key workers are fully qualified and experienced to support people from all walks of life.
“Being out of work has a negative impact on self-esteem, so while attending Unity, we can help people get into employment. The overall impact is much bigger and we have many examples of how it improves the lives of local residents.”
There are many changes going on at Unity, a new cafe has just been launched at The Orchard Centre and the training centre will be moving into purpose-refurbished premises.
For more information please find Unity in Community on Facebook @UICHU6.
[Jess Clark – Divine Clark PR]