A new project called #focus5 will provide in-depth support to young people aged 15-18.

The project is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. It focuses on 5 key employability skills; communication, customer service, organisation, problem solving, and team work each having been identified as crucial skills by local employers. Participants will get the opportunity to engage in work experience or work shadowing, and will receive additional support after leaving the programme to ensure positive impact is sustained.

CSW Group has received £1,706,400 to help some of the South West’s most vulnerable young people make a positive move towards education, employment and training and over the next three years will work with over twenty partner organisations, including Eat That Frog, across the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area, . The project aims to help 490 individuals in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. This will include those with mental health issues, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), lone parents, and care leavers, who will receive ongoing individual help from an identified key worker who will build a personalised package of support. Specialist provision will be identified and sourced from the partner organisations to ensure that these young people get the crucial support they require.

Paul Hobson, CEO of CSW said,

“This is great news for the region and will provide many young people with support that will make a real difference to their lives”.

Steve Hindley CBE DL, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) said:

“The LEP is very keen to support initiatives to help young people get into education, training and employment so we are very pleased that this project has received funding. We’re working towards raising productivity across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay so it’s important that young people are equipped with the right skills to take up the higher value jobs being created.”


Big Lottery Fund
  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. We put people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year we awarded £583 million and supported around 12,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.
  • The project received £1,706,400 of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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