Over 120 firms across Worcestershire attended the celebration the first anniversary of the Building Better Opportunities programme on Friday 10 November. Held at Sixways Stadium in Worcester, it was hosted by both Fusion and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.
Vestia Community Trust led the work to establish Fusion who are helping local people to move into employment, improving their lives and securing the future prosperity of Worcestershire through the Building Better Opportunities project, which is funded by the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
Supported by the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Fusion has invested in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth. They have also helped those needing extra support into work including people with disabilities, long term unemployed, adults with learning disabilities, ex-offenders and young people with no work experience.
Clare Jackson, Fusion Chair and Executive Director Housing, Care & Communities, Fortis Living commented: “This celebration event has brought together some key partners in Worcestershire and showcased how Building Better Opportunities has made a real impact on many people’s lives. We are confident that the project will continue to deliver positive outcomes for participants in the future.”
One year on since the programme started, businesses and key partners came together to celebrate the successes so far, including supporting 100 people back into work. Guests heard from a fantastic line up of speakers which included the Big Lottery Fund, Worcester Local Enterprise Partnership, Chamber of Commerce and inspirational local firms who have benefited from the programme.
Sophia Haywood, Policy Manager at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, commented: “The Chamber was delighted to support Fusion again after the successful launch of the Charter for Inclusive Growth for employers last year. It’s great to see local businesses getting involved with the programme, supporting people back into work or into their first job. More and more Worcestershire firms struggle to recruit in a county with a below national average unemployment rate, so by taking the time to become more inclusive, it allows businesses to harness unsung innovative talent – a process that is rewarding for the employee and the employer.”
Marina Banner, Executive Director for Vestia and Corporate Services at The Community Housing Group: “We are delighted at the success of Building Better Opportunities and we are excited for the future possibilities for Worcestershire now that Fusion has been established.”
Pictured: Building Better Opportunities was celebrated at the Sixways Stadium