Essex Community Foundation

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Helping Young People Develop Skills

29th February 2016

Disabled and disadvantaged young people are being given the chance to develop their skills and gain valuable experience at a shop run by the charity PARC (Essex).

The shop, in Braintree town centre, raises funds for PARC's work with disabled children and their families and also provides a retail training ground for disabled and disadvantaged young people to help improve their prospects.

Funding from the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundations (ECF) has given PARC vital support, including a recent grant of £9,500 towards the running costs of the shop.

PARC is among the hundreds of local charities helped by ECF which manages and distributes grants on behalf of a wide range of fundholders.

Emma Frearson, PARC charity outlet manager said: “Our project addresses the core problem of a lack of training and employment opportunities for young adults who have disabilities or are not in employment, education or training. They face many barriers and very often businesses are not willing to give them a chance.

“We can enable such young adults to become part of the work force by using our charity outlet as a training ground. They gain valuable volunteer and work experience which will help them achieve independence in adulthood.  Our project offers them the opportunity to gain an NVQ qualification which will enable them to find future employment and stop them falling into the poverty trap. This will raise their self-esteem and they will be able to contribute to society.

"Every day in the shop is a joy.  Watching the young adults flourish in this environment is so rewarding.

Providing somewhere that they can develop their skills and improve their confidence in a place that they feel safe and supported is at the heart of what we do at the PARC shop.

“The grants we have received from ECF have made a great difference to our charity and have helped keep the shop and the training project going.”

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We know that PARC does magnificent work in Essex and we are very pleased to have been able to give support to such a worthwhile charity.”