We are sad to see our Community Matters programme coming to a close this year. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund the Foundation has been able to work with some amazing partners across the Black Country.

These partner organisations have been breaking down the barriers to employment, offering guidance, training, and support to those striving to make real positive changes in their lives.

One of those organisations is Manor Farm Community Organisation. Based in Walsall, they ran the Local Solutions project through the Community Matters programme. They have completed their work with the Foundation, but we caught up with Stephanie who is reaping the benefits of their support:

“I’ve been teaching swimming for over a year and it is really good and I really enjoy it.


“The Community Matters programme at Manor Farm was able to fund my swimming teacher qualification, thanks to that I have now got a job at the University of Wolverhampton as a Swimming Teacher.


“I found out about Manor Farm through the Job Centre; it was not so much looking for employment as I was at University doing my degree it was more because I had a little girl. It was about me trying to find something that was flexible.


“I love all the ladies so much! I just felt the staff have a genuine interest in helping people and that is what stuck out to me the most. They do not want people to be in the situations they are in and they will give you the resources you need to take your next step towards employment.


“Some people do not realise that this support is available to them and they do not push it. The support is there to help people do what they need to do. Without them I would not have been able to pay for my qualification.”

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, said:

“This is just one example of how the Community Matters programme has broken down barriers over the last three years and we are so pleased for Stephanie.


“There are a million reasons why people can struggle to find employment and all the partners provide a unique approach to helping individuals, one size does not fit all and that enables people to succeed.”

For more information on our Community Matters programme please click here.