comms-first-logoHere are some of the services and programmes everyone can expect across all Communities First Cluster areas in RCT.

Community-Based Work Clubs

Last year in 2015-16 Communities First supported 479 people into work through our local community based work clubs. These work clubs are complimentary to the Job Centre and participants are referred to and attend voluntarily. Participants can expect a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where they can conduct job search, get help with CV's and interview techniques. 121 support is also available at our work clubs where people need extra support.Continuing good practice local voluntary organisations are commissioned to deliver the work clubs across all Communities First cluster areas in RCT.

Employability Programmes

As part of the core offer, RCT Adult Education have been commissioned to deliver essential skills training and two employment training opportunities which include ‘pre-employment’ and ‘employment routes’ programmes.

Employment Routes

This programme builds on the previous Bridges into Work Employment Routes programme to deliver a county-wide Employment Pathway that would take referrals from partners as well as self-referrals by individuals. The programme targets those over the age of 25 but will consider referrals for participants over the age of 18 where provision is needed and not available elsewhere. The focus would be on working with a range of employers who have vacancies and to identify the type of skills they require for their businesses. The required training will be delivered in partnership with the employers so that by the end of the programme participants who have successfully completed the training would be guaranteed interviews and ultimately, gain employment.

Pre-Employment Programmes

This is a more generic programme which is delivered across the clusters at set times during the year, course content includes;

  • Confidence-building activities
  • Team-building
  • Customer service skills
  • Using online services
  • CV development
  • Preparation for interviews
  • Some accredited training in areas that are generally attractive to employers (First Aid training, Health and Safety and Food Hygiene)

More specialised training can be offered in certain circumstances. For further information or to discuss attending one of the programmes, please contact your local team.

Essential Skills

A weekly roll on, roll off Essential Skills provision will be offered across all eight cluster areas. Anyone receiving training through the Communities First programme will be required to undertake an essential skills assessment to give people the best opportunity to achieve an accreditation and/or qualification.

Cultural Services

Cultural Services commissioned Core Offer includes:-‘Fortitude through the Arts’ Programme An 8 week ASDAN accredited programme (2 days a week) with up to 12 people, aged 16 +, to support them into education, training or employment through building confidence and using the arts/creative industries as a tool to build transferable skills. Communities First has commissioned four programmes to run during 2016-17.

Family Learning Workshops

Storytelling workshops for parents and children professionally led by an author and illustrator, culminating in the creation of an illustrated original children’s story, printed and then distributed to public libraries. This project supports families to interact,develop literacy skills, and be creatively active. Communities First has commissioned eight programmes to run during 2016-17, one per cluster. Each programme of workshops will run over 5 – 6 weeks, with sessions lasting 2 hours and run either during the daytime or in the evening. Participants will be offered to progress onto the essential skills provision and sign posted to further training opportunities or provision.

Spice Time banking

Time banking helps to build social capital within communities. Every hour somebody gives to their community they earn one time credit which can be spent on activities in the Spend Brochure. Activities to spend can vary and includes anything from swimming, theatre, soft play to sports tickets.Each cluster will now be able to offer Spice Time banking credits to volunteers helping to deliver Communities First programmes. Time banking is also available to voluntary individuals and groups who can contribute a ‘spend’ opportunity to the Spend Brochure.
For more information contact Dan Zbzieblo, project manager Dan.Zbzieblo@rctcbc.gov.uk or Dean.Emson@rctcbc.gov.uk or telephone 01443444586.

Valleys Steps

Mindfulness and Stress Management Sessions Communities First work in partnership with Valleys Steps by providing local venues to deliver regular Mindfulness and Stress Management sessions across RCT. Their timetable is available at www.valleyssteps.org

Youth Engagement and Participation Service and Leisure Services

A pilot programme of physical activity sessions has been commissioned in a number of cluster areas targeting both young people and adults. In the future, the aim is to roll out these programmes across cluster areas in RCT based on identified need.

CAB Open access information and advice services

This service provides an independent source of advice, advocacy and representation to vulnerable people living within the eight Communities First Clusters in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Money matters programme

Communities First commission Cynon TAF Housing Association to deliver an Intensive targeted outreach support programme: provision targeted directly at those going through financial hardship and crisis focusing on income maximisation and financial inclusion.

Voluntary Sector Organisations Delivery

Communities First continues to commission in existing partner voluntary organisations to deliver in local cluster areas. We will be working in partnership with these organisations to develop, change or retain programmes for delivery based on identified need.

Access to Food Banks

Communities First supports the identification and access of eligible clients to Foodbanks. A list of all Foodbanks in RCT can be found at www.trusselltrust.org

Fuel Poverty

Each cluster supports individuals to access appropriate information and advice through the Housing Energy Efficiency service and individual cluster NEST surgeries

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