Big Society Award: Helping disadvantaged people in employment
Action West London is an expanding West London charity and social enterprise. Our key objectives are to help disadvantaged, unemployed individuals and communities through the 3 E's - Education, Employment and Enterprise. Action West London provides a range of services to help people in need - particularly disadvantaged, unemployed individuals facing the most barriers to work. This includes young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs), lone parents, older people, people with disabilities or mental health difficulties, young and adult offenders, refugees and people from black and ethnic minority communities.
Action West London currently works in Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith and Fulham. Action West London works in partnership with other charities and organizations, local authorities, public sector bodies and private sector companies. Our current projects include training and employment schemes; work with third country nationals and refugees to improve ESOL and citizenship skills, projects to help socially and digitally excluded individuals, projects for young and adult offenders and NEET young people. Action West London works with over 2000 individuals each year. Current projects include delivering:
- The Work Programme - Employability training projects and Job search for the unemployed.
- Learning Centre – Free ICT and ESOL tuition and support.
- Acton Street Market Project – helping local residents set up as market traders; the Doughnut Factory managed workspace for start-up businesses and social enterprises.
- NEETS projects – helping young people stay in education, training or employment.
- Integration project – helping third country nationals integrate into UK society.
- Social enterprise - trainingand support for other charities, groups and individuals.
- Youth Transitions Network - helping young offenders leaving custody or young people leaving care settle into the community.
- Motivation Works - helping Ealing residents who have been unemployed for 4+ years find employment.
- Bright Futures for Young People - working with Ealing Social Services to help young people in the community.
- Improving English for Better Life Opportunities (IEBLO) - helping Individuals whose first language is not English overcome barriers to Employment and Integration.
- Learn my Way Digital Inclusion Project - tracking digital exclusion by helping people who do not understand basic computer skills.
- Move On Up - addressing the disproportionately high unemployment rate of young Black men ages 16-24.
- Ealing Parents Involvement in Children's Achievement (EPICA) - Helping parents to understand and find their way around the UK education system.
Why we do it
Action West London is committed to helping disadvantaged individuals improve their lives and more out of poverty through Education, Employment and Enterprise. We do this work because many individuals fall through the gaps of existing support and we know that efforts must constantly be made to secure resources to help those most disadvantaged in society. We do our work because we believe strongly that those people who are most disadvantaged should be given as many opportunities as possible to help themselves through their own efforts with the required support. We do this work because we have seen how it helps change lives. We see how much potential disadvantaged communities and individuals have and how this can be realised with sufficient help. We are proud to work in our diverse communities and contribute to both individual success and community and economic regeneration.
What it means to be a Big Society Award Winner
We are pleased that the efforts of Action West London’s staff, Board members and volunteers over the years contributing significantly to our local communities has been recognised through the Big Society Award. The Award endorses the importance of helping disadvantaged individuals and communities through providing opportunities for Education, Employment and Enterprise. We hope that the Award will help Action West London to secure resources and support to continue this work in challenging times.
"High Streets are the heart of a community, they give people a place to come together, provide essential services and create local jobs and investment. This government has been working hard to revitalise our high streets but Action West London has already identified the needs of their local community and created a vibrant market that has not only become a vital community hub, it has also created employment and training opportunities. This is only part of the work Action West London does - they are a fantastic example of an organisation that really is part of the Big Society, running a number of projects to meet the needs of the whole community. This award recognises their commitment to constantly finding new ways to help even more people and I hope they continue to grow and be a driving force in West London." - Prime Minister David Cameron
Be enterprising, secure different streams of funding including earned income to become financially sustainable, operate as a social enterprise, work in partnership, be prepared to take risks, always look ahead and be very persistent in achieving your goals and vision.
For more information on the Big Society Award please visit: www.bigsocietyawards.org/award-winners/action-acton/