We’re extremely proud to announce that Portland Pathways has won the British Chamber of Commerce Equality Trailblazer Diversity and Inclusion Award in the East Midlands regional finals.

As regional winners, we have now been entered into the National Awards where winners will be announced at a ceremony on 9th December.

This success positions Pathways as a quadruple award-winning community focused initiative which aims to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Part of the Portland Charity Group, Pathways delivers courses to help customers develop their skills and prepare for employment. The Recovery College courses, in partnership with the NHS, support people to improve their mental health and the 1:1 counselling service enables people to overcome barriers to employment.

We also work with local businesses to help them become more accessible and to recruit the right staff for their roles.

Since opening in 2017, we have had 862 referrals to the service, 181 people starting work, 431 enrolments onto Recovery College courses and delivered 417 1:1 Counselling hours.

Pathways operates out of two hubs in Sutton-in-Ashfield and Mansfield and has plans to expand into Worksop later this year.  Although the team is small, Nikki Amirsaeedi, Simon Carter and Cheryl Levers work tirelessly to have a huge and lasting impact on the lives of their customers.

As well as delivering innovative programmes to improve mental health and help people find employment, the team go above and beyond to help clients in any way possible.  For example, accessing vital services such as foodbanks, clothing charities, benefits, social services, housing support, debt relief and medical appointments. They also help with university applications, accessing job interviews and improving household accessibility.

Portland Charity CEO Dr Mark Dale said, “I am absolutely over the moon for our Portland Pathways initiative to be recognised by this award. As a charity which has benefitted so much from local support, I was determined to put something back into our local communities and over the last 4 years we have helped hundreds of people.

We couldn’t have done it without the support of local businesses who are committed to employing people with disabilities and in the case of Linney in Mansfield, provide generous financial support to Pathways.”

Nikki Amirsaeedi, Employment Projects Manager at Pathways commented, “This is absolutely brilliant news.  I am so proud to work with such a fabulous team. Together we achieve great success that benefits all of our customers and the whole community.”

To find out more about Portland Pathways, visit their website www.portland.ac.uk/choose-your-future/portland-pathways/

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