Minister visits life-changing Denbighshire community facility Thursday 18 February 2016

Welsh Government Minister Ken Skates visited a life-changing project that is outperforming its target of getting Denbighshire people back into work thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

Minister visits life-changing Denbighshire community facility

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism met jobseekers accessing support at HWB Dinbych, a £2.2m development managed by housing association Grŵp Cynefin.

Mr Skates was joined on the visit by officers from the Big Lottery Fund Wales which contributed more than £420,000 of funding to the project.

One of the main objectives of the HWB is to help young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) gain qualifications and access further learning.

The HWB has vastly outperformed its target of helping young people gain new qualifications and access further learning. To date, the centre has helped five times the number of youngsters than originally planned access new qualifications and skills.

The HWB has also helped 61 young people find employment, and is on target to meet its goals by the end of 2016.

HWB Dinbych provides a range of employment and training opportunities, including a job seekers club run by community groups North Denbighshire Communities First, Communities for Work and the Denbigh Youth Project.

As part of his visit, Mr Skates met with members of the job club taking part in a drop-in session at the HWB, where attendees can receive assistance in creating a CV, looking for jobs online, writing to potential employees and learning interview techniques.

The Deputy Minister said: “HWB Dinbych is a great example of how Big Lottery Wales funding can be used to enhance community projects which deliver real benefits to local residents.

“Reducing the number of people not in education, employment or training in Wales and ensuring our most vulnerable communities are supported are key priorities for this government so I was delighted to visit HWB, speak with those who run and use the facility and hear about how it is helping them.”

Mr Skates was also given a tour of the HWB, which includes an IT room, a community activity space and four teaching rooms used by Coleg Llandrillo.

Ann Davies, centre manager at HWB Dinbych, said: “The Job Club has achieved some fantastic results over the last 12 months helping people get back into work.

“Located in a Communities First area, the HWB is helping to empower some of the community’s most disadvantaged people, assisting them in shaping their own futures.

“A central venue for initiatives such as the job club and drop-in sessions visited by Mr Skates, HWB Dinbych is making great steps in changing the lives of families in the Denbigh area.

“There’s also a full programme of qualifications available through Coleg Llandrillo helping increase HWB visitors’ employability, as well as a range of other classes and courses open to the whole community.”

HWB Dinbych won the 2015 Outstanding Development of the Year Award at the UK Housing Awards, the premier awards ceremony for the UK housing sector.

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 the Fund has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year it funds 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

For more information on HWB Dinbych, contact Ann Davies on 0300 111 2122 or follow @HWB_Dinbych on Twitter.

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