Portland Pathways is looking forward to a bright future after receiving a generous £150,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund this month.
The grant will provide funding of £50,000 per year over three years, to support the running of the Pathways Programme.
This will enable us to continue providing the much-needed support to our local communities and employers into the future.
Since launching a pilot in Mansfield in 2017, the Portland Pathways initiative has gone from strength to strength. In 2018 we opened a second hub in Sutton in Ashfield, and have recently celebrated the 2nd anniversary of opening our Mansfield office.
With a focus on reducing the disability employment gap in Mansfield and Ashfield, the unique ‘roll-on, roll-off’ programme provides the encouragement and tools for people to excel.
One of our first clients demonstrated how successful the initiative is.  Hannah Harvey, who has epilepsy, had been looking for work for nearly a year before visiting the Pathways team.  After spending time getting to know her strengths and interests, the team supported Hannah to find an Apprenticeship in Teaching and Learning.  Following successful completion of the 18 month programme earlier this year, Hannah gained a place at Huddersfield University to pursue her dream of becoming a qualified History teacher.
The initiative has gone on to win two prestigious awards, has supported 96 people into sustainable employment and has seen 188 people complete our Recovery College course.
We offer three different pathways to help individuals and employers to build a more inclusive workforce:
Recovery College
Our five-week course, aimed at people with mental health issues, provides:

  • Strategies to help people better understand their own mental health
  • Tools and techniques to take away and use in daily life
  • Ongoing support to help improve health and wellbeing

Preparing for Work
Aimed at people with disabilities who are looking to get into/back into the world of work.  We:

  • Assess their employability needs and work with them to address these needs
  • Create a suitable CV and cover letter
  • Undertake employability sessions and help with interview preparation

Support for Employers

We work with local employers to help them:

  • Identify alternative recruitment avenues
  • Support businesses to feel more confident in recruiting and supporting employees with disabilities
  • Apply for Access to Work funding

Mark Dale, Principal and CEO of Portland College commented, “This is fantastic news for the Mansfield and Ashfield District.  As one of the UK’s leading specialist colleges for disabled people, we identified the need to further extend our expertise to support our wider community.
This substantial funding will enable us to continue bridging the disability employment gap in the region, creating a more inclusive workforce, helping local businesses and transforming futures.”

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