Empowerment is very excited and happy to announce an expansion of their hub as they have received funding from Her Majesty’s Government and The Big Lottery Fundto run a projectfor people with multiple complex needs in Blackpool.

ThePEER 4 U projectwill tackle social isolation and loneliness by creating opportunities for peer mentors and befrienders to go into the community and support those at risk of Homelessness, Substance Misuse, Offending and Mental Health Issues.

Mike Crowther, CEO of Empowerment had this to say;

“I am delighted that Empowerment has been awarded £95,000 from the Building Connections Fund for our forthcoming ‘PEER 4 U’ project. This will enable us to bring in fresh investment into Blackpool, create new jobs and deliver an amazing project to tackle social isolation and loneliness experienced by people who have multiple complex needs which includes homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues and offending behaviours.

Blackpool has many people who have endured many challenges in their life but are now working hard to turn their lives around for the better. Supporting them through our Peer Mentoring programme to get involved in new opportunities, make new friends, get into volunteering or paid jobs, will mean that the chances of a successful recovery are enhanced and that they can each reachtheir potential in life.

I feel very strongly that the project will do great work in our wonderful town of Blackpool and complements the great work of Empowerment and the Fulfilling Lives programme.”

Following the Prime Minister’s wider endorsement of the Jo Cox Commission recommendations on Loneliness in January 2018, the £11.5 million Building Connections Fund has been set up to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness. This exciting new project will create four new job opportunities for local people in Blackpool.

Nicola Plumb, Lived Experience Team Manager who will be responsible for overseeing the project said “The PEER 4 U scheme will mean that people with lived experience can not only use their skills but also get experience of paid employment, which is a step in the right direction in building a career”.

Empowerment is an innovative charity based in Blackpool, which has made a long-termcommitment to supporting our local communities and improving lives. In 2017, Empowerment decided that its future was to be that of a locally based charity serving marginalised communities in Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.

Ian Treasure, Partnerships Manager for Blackpool Fulfilling Lives said “This is great news for Blackpool. Peer mentoring will complement the work of Blackpool Fulfilling Livesto ensure that people can move on from services and have a mentor to help them gain independence”.

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