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Press release7 December 2023

Clarion Futures wins ‘Tailored Employment Support of the Year’ at ERSA Employability Awards

Launched in September 2020, the Active Inclusion programme run by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, was named the winner of ‘Tailored Support of the Year’ at the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Awards.

Part of Love London Working, a pioneering employment scheme led by Clarion and delivered by a consortium of housing associations, the Active Inclusion programme targets people facing a range of complex barriers to employment, providing coordinated and tailored 360-degree support.

Working with Charlton Triangle Homes, Hexagon Housing, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) and Poplar HARCA, the programme aims to support 655 London residents by the end of December 2023.

Support is provided for those with multiple needs considered to be some way from being job-ready, helping them overcome barriers to work including lack of digital literacy and functional skills, debt and mental health and wellbeing issues, as well as physical disabilities.

Through the Active Inclusion programme, so far more than 650 people have been supported to improve their job prospects, with almost 120 securing employment.

Since 2016 Love London Working has been open to anyone aged over 16 who lives in the capital and is not in work, formal training or enrolled in a mandatory employment programme, providing support to help them join the labour market. Love London Working has been co-funded by a consortium of participating housing associations and the European Social Fund (ESF), the latter being managed by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

With Love London Working coming to an end in December 2023, Clarion Futures will be embedding the Active Inclusion programme into its national employability support service, ensuring people living in Clarion homes and communities nationwide will be able to benefit from this innovative and award-winning approach.

Daniel’s story

Daniel, aged 29 from Bromley, was referred to the Active Inclusion programme by a Love London Working advisor, recognising that he would need additional support. He was desperate to find employment but found it very hard to leave the house due to severe anxiety.

Starting with getting his CV updated and some work around filling in application forms, Daniel was then supported with a focus on his anxiety, attending workshops around coping mechanisms and confidence building. The team then arranged to meet Daniel at a local coffee shop to get him out of the house, before encouraging him to get on local buses and providing him with travel training to get him into busier places further from home. Daniel also joined a walking group.

In time, Daniel started to attend a Job Club delivered through the Active Inclusion programme. At first, he felt sick with anxiety, but settled in and started attending twice a week. With support in writing a cover letter that highlighted his skills from voluntary work, Daniel started getting interviews, one of which was successful, working in a specialist IT role.

Daniel said:

“Thanks for all the support you've given me since last year, it's helped me a lot and I'm now much more confident going out. Without your help I don't think I would be doing anything and would still be sitting indoors doing nothing. I don't think I would have been able to do any of this on my own.”

Phil Miles, Director of Clarion Futures, said:

“Truly tailored and holistic employment support is vital for those furthest from the labour market such as Daniel, helping to overcome complex barriers including long-term unemployment, disability and skills shortages.

“Our Active Inclusion programme has been proven to be transformative, making a positive difference to people across London, and we’re delighted that this has been recognised by ERSA through their Employability Awards. We look forward to embedding the programme into our nationwide employability support offer, helping to expand its reach, improve life chances and support more people into employment.”