An innovative project designed to help people in Fenland get the skills they need to become work ready and back into employment has been awarded £50,000 by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP.

teddy bear 3

Reuseful UK, based in March, managed to secure funding for a second year from the LEP’s Prize Challenge – a £1million fund designed to get those furthest from the workplace work ready and into employment.

The team at Reuseful UK has created jobs and work placements for long-term unemployed individuals through de-branding and remanufacturing uniforms and corporate workwear, including rebranding uniforms and creating unique craft packs, including ones to make their own signature teddy bears. The money they make from these products is reinvested into the project to reduce waste and increase employment opportunities for local people.

Having already run the project for a year, thanks to a grant of £40,000 from the LEP Prize Challenge Fund, the team had to pitch for second round funding based on their successes to date. In 2016, Reuseful UK helped to get 66 people work ready and supported 40 people back into work, and were certain that they could help even more in 2017 with the additional funding.

Claire Higgins, Board Member of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said:

“Reuseful UK has gone from strength to strength over the past year, providing a unique package of tailored support for local people seeking to get both the skills and confidence they need to return to the workplace often after they have faced some very difficult challenges. Their focus on continual improvement, and personalising the experience they give to everyone that works with them, has ensured fantastic successes to date. We are delighted to provide a further years’ worth of funding to help them further develop their offer and wishing them every success in doing so.”

Nikki DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer of Reuseful UK, said:

“The GCGP LEP funding has enabled us to create an innovative partnership between Reuseful UK, Veolia and the local scrapstore in March. Our resourceful team are very passionate about providing opportunities for people to learn new skills in a supportive and friendly environment. This new funding will enable the scheme to expand with more work experience locations and participants. Having grown our product range from workwear to teddy bears our new candidates can look forward to helping us develop and make a homewares and a pet product range too.

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