National recognition for Caterham project that helps job seekers

13 May 2015

Caterham Job Club, a programme created by Caterham Community Church has been awarded a prestigious Faith in Action award and picked up a cash prize of £2,000.

The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational & General, recognise the efforts of churches that establish social initiatives within their local community were presented at the Congregational Federation Assembly in Peterborough on 9 May.

Unemployment for any period of time can often impair a person's self-confidence or motivation. Caterham Job Club was formed in 2012, at a time when unemployment within the locality was rising and some were struggling to find work. It was set up to offer some practical support to the unemployed in the local community and to help them gain the skills and confidence to get back into work.

Weekly workshop sessions continue to be run by a team of volunteers who encourage those attending to share their experiences and knowledge. Through the workshops, those out of work have access to free advice on successfully applying for jobs and learn skills for life. Attendees are offered help with CV writing, interview techniques, networking advice and have an opportunity to discuss their long and short term goals.

Steve Bidwell, Job Club Manager, collecting the prize and award on behalf of the team said: "The Job club team feel that it is a great privilege to serve our community, to be able to get to know, encourage and support people through the job seeking process which can often be a lonely and demoralising experience. This prize is welcomed as it will help fund the running of the club."

Congregational & General Insurance Marketing Manager, Margaret Slater said: "We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives such as the 'Caterham Job Club' that really make a difference and help build community cohesion".

Rev Adrian Burr, Chair of the Congregational Federation Mission and Society Committee and a member of the judging panel commented: "The standard of entries for this year's awards was high, and each of the prize winning organisations have made a real impact in their local area. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, projects have grown out of local congregations and we're proud to provide 'Caterham Job Club' with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within the community."