Project summary

The WEA is delivering the ESF Community Grants across Liverpool City Region, providing grants to third sector voluntary, community or social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.  The funding supports training and learning opportunities for those furthest from the labour market.

The project’s key objectives are to improve life chances by helping people into or closer to employment, self-employment, or to access further education or training opportunities. The project is particularly focused on people with disabilities and long-term health conditions; helping them return to the workplace after a long period of absence.

The grants can support a wide range of community based activity including:

  • Initial help with basic skills
  • Taster work experience including voluntary work
  • Training, advice and guidance
  • Job search assistance
  • Confidence building and personal development
  • First contact engagement activities to support individuals to overcome barriers to employment



The project is managed by the WEA.


Key Outputs / Results

A minimum of 683 individuals will receive support from this project.

Quote from Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of the WEA: “The skills gaps in Liverpool City Region are more pronounced than in other parts of the country, restricting opportunities for both local residents and businesses. The funding will provide a lifeline to those struggling to gain employment by equipping them with the tools that employers need.

“Our programme will benefit hundreds of individuals from some of the most marginalised groups in society but it goes beyond that. Improving skills and job prospects will help strengthen families and communities, which are part and parcel of our everyday lives. There is no greater poverty than to be without the means to look after yourself and your family.”


Quote from Tom Youds, ESF CG Project Organiser - WEA: 

WEA has issued all three rounds of ESF Community Grants funding across LCR and successfully funded 44 local third sector organisations.

“By providing grants to these existing and established community based VCSE organisations, we will maximise the reach and actively engage those most in need of support, assisting LCR residents in meeting their potential and contribute to social inclusion and thereby tackling unemployment in the region by moving people closer to employment.” 


Case Study

Funded Organisation: 3tc - 3tc is a registered charity based on Merseyside

Beneficiary: Julie

Julie’s personal circumstances changed dramatically when she became unemployed.  Julie felt very isolated and lost self-confidence.  After 14 months she decided she needed to get her life back on track and went to Jobcentre Plus where she met a representative from 3tc.  Julie was encouraged to enrol on “The Boost Your Employability” course funded by the ESF Community Grants Programme.

The course helps unemployed adults move closer to the job market and is especially designed for people that lack confidence both in themselves and using computers.

After only 6 weeks on the course Julie was confident enough to apply for a Credit Control position, but was unsuccessful as she didn’t have the relevant Excel skills. 3tc’s Tutor gave her additional support, to meet her needs, by showing Julie how to use spreadsheets to an intermediate level.  Julie then applied for a second position as a Credit Control Manager, with the same company, and this time she was successful.

Julie said that “3tc raised my self-esteem and aspirations, without the support I have been given I would probably still be unemployed. I wish to sincerely thank not only all the staff at 3tc but the WEA and the support that I received via the ESF Community Grants programme.”


Partner Organisations

The project funded over 40 partner organisations, to help deliver a wide ranging programme. Here are some of the partners that received ESF grant funding:


To improve the learning, development and employment chances of women who face barriers to achieving in the Merseyside area by increasing knowledge and skills, improving confidence, giving opportunity to have practical experience in a working environment and opportunity to achieve BTEC Work skills / NVQ 2 Customer Service or Open Awards credits in Women’s Health Training


Knowsley Disability Concern

KDC will support people with disabilities to enable them to move closer to the labour market by building confidence, developing communication, leadership and volunteering skills and, critically for many of our participants, the insights into behavioural norms and boundaries within the workplace vital for realistic engagement with the world of work.


Abdullah Quilliam Society

The project will provide a structured training and volunteering programme targeting Muslim women who both currently use the Abdullah Quilliam Centre for social and faith activities and those that don’t use the centre, and support them to improve their key skills, levels of confidence and employment prospects.


Liverpool Homeless Football Club

Support people experiencing homelessness to move towards employment, further training or volunteering through learning techniques for managing stress, building up their self-esteem and confidence, developing practical catering skills, gaining qualifications in Basic food preparation and food hygiene and opportunities for work experience.

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