People in social housing across Oxfordshire need to be given the tools to ‘thrive, not just survive’.
That is the vision behind several projects that are being launched by housing association Soha.
The community-focussed housing provider is now in the fourth year of running its employment training programme, Launchpad.
The scheme has gone from strength to strength and is expanding beyond just its tenants, to help people think about their options for employment and to support them in taking their next step.
Last week, the provider announced its plans to help launch a pop-up business school at the Orchard Centre in Didcot for a week starting March 19.
Working alongside start-up training company PopUp, Soha hopes to help start more than 50 businesses.
The week-long, free workshop, will teach aspiring entrepreneurs everything they need to know from how to start a business without any money, how to generate sales from social media, to making a website without any technical skills.
Soha’s chief executive Richard Peacock said: “I’m really proud that Soha is a community based social business. This is a great step forward for our Launchpad project, which has already supported many local people to gain valuable experience and skills.”
The programme has been backed by South Oxfordshire and Vale district councils.
Backed by the European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency, the free Launchpad programme has enabled more than 100 people to take their next step and gain access to courses and mentoring, learn new skills and gain employment.
This spring, the programme is set to launch two different courses in addition to the PopUp school.
Play-Way, a course that will support people who want to work with children, will be held at the Berin Centre in Berinsfield on February 28, March 7 and 14 from 9.30am to 1.30pm.
In addition, there will be a course inviting people to learn what it’s like to work in the care sector – this will be held at the Soha boardroom in Didcot on March 12, 19 and 26 between 9.30am and 2.30pm.