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Flint charity helps unemployed go back to work

A CHARITY is building on its success and hopes to help more unemployed people back into work this year.

Refurbs Flintshire, a furniture and domestic appliances refurbishing and re-use charity based in Flint, is currently running two intermediate labour market (ILM) work experience projects with funding from the EU’s European Social Fund (ESF).

Since the projects started in January 2011, 41 people have found permanent jobs and three more have entered into education or voluntary work.

The two projects run by Refurbs are aimed at unemployed people aged either between 18 and 24 or over 50.

To date 26 people have found employment after taking part in the scheme, based at the charity’s warehouse and showrooms at Aber Park.

One of the 26 was Gillian Bellis, who found a job before the end of her 11 week placement as an assistant in the restoration department.

She said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Refurbs and learnt many new skills which I believe helped me find employment. The ILM staff were really supportive and gave me every assistance in finding employment.”

The first project was so successful that Refurbs teamed up with Flintshire County Council’s Streetscene department to provide 16-week work placements and 15 of the participants have gone on to find jobs.

Caroline Liversage, ILM coordinator, said: “During the time the participants are with us we build very good relationships and we don’t believe that these should come to an end once they are no longer with us. We continue to offer the use of our job search facilities and advice once the placement period has completed, regardless of whether they have been successful in finding employment or not.”

There are currently 11 people taking part in the two programmes and Refurbs is about to recruit a further 15 participants to work with Flintshire County Council from March.

This will be the last major intake before the project is due to end in July.