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Home > Action Zones > Politics and Social Action > Building a Future for Jobless

Building a Future for Jobless


Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers for the Bristol Together social enterprise partnership.

Progress at 38 York Ave (led by Aspire) and 32 Westbury Hill (led by Restore Trust) continues really well. We had some good press
coverage in the Bristol Evening Post last week, see http://t.co/qp6SkB6r & extract below.

- Between 10-12 ex-offenders and long-term unemployed people are benefiting from these projects, and it is a great joy to see how they
are developing in confidence, skill and experience as the work continues.

Paul Harrod

Source: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Building-Future-Jobless/story-13871101-detail/story.html - Full story available here

AT first glance it looks like any other property renovation – with every room stripped bare in the Edwardian terraced house, and the smell of plaster, paint and sawdust all hanging in the air.

But the half-a-dozen young apprentices that are busily working away in every corner are not your average would-be tradesmen. Each of them has a story to tell – these young Bristolians have either already suffered long-term unemployment, despite their young age, or they are ex-offenders who are trying to improve their employment prospects by turning their lives around.

The Ashley Down terraced house may seem unexceptional, but Paul Harrod, founder of charity Bristol Together, hopes the property will mark the start of something big.

It is the first property to be tackled by the new job creation charity, which is tapping into the mindset that was the preserve of property developers before the credit crunch hit, but which Paul believes could now serve a greater good.

"The idea is fairly simple," explains Paul, who stood as a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate at the last General Election. "In this day and age charities can't rely on handouts – they have to be self-sustaining. They have to think much more like businessmen.

"That's what we're doing here. Bristol Together is all about getting investment from private individuals, in order so we can buy run-down properties that we can renovate and sell on for a profit.

"The work will be done by young people who are either long term unemployed, ex-offenders, ex-homeless, or recovering drug and alcohol addicts.

"It's all about giving them the opportunity to work – to get a wage for doing the job, but more importantly, for them to learn a trade and gain qualifications that will then give them a real chance of finding work in the outside world."