A new initiative in Bideford aiming to help people back into work has been celebrating its success.

The Bideford Work Hub was set up in May last year and meets every Wednesday, 10am-1pm in Bideford Library.

It offers an opportunity for unemployed people to come along and learn new skills, as well as receive support and training to help them back into employment.

The service sees between 10 and 20 new and existing customers each week, and so far has helped 16 people into a range of jobs, from construction work to retail and admin jobs.

Iain Harris, work hub co-ordinator, said the service was about more than just helping people to get a job.

“It’s about breaking down the barriers people have, whether that’s a mental health issue, fear, lack of confidence, illness, or they have been long-term unemployed.

“We can help with all sorts of things from helping with CVs and cover letters, to mock interview.

“One really successful thing we’ve done was a trip to Asda where we took a group of about 12 people to have a tour, hear about working there and play some of the team-building games which are part of their interviews.

“I think that really helped some people as it inspired them and when they came away, they said it was great.

“Some of them successfully got jobs off the back of that trip because it broke down barriers.”

Iain said the service is thriving with customers, and it looking to expand to other areas, as well as increase the range of courses it can offer customers.

“Having something like in such a low wage area is totally vital for the community,” Iain added.

“We particularly want to work in rural areas, perhaps with people who are isolated and couldn’t get to a main town like Bideford.

“We want to bring people together, because together we are stronger.”

As well as the drop-in at Bideford Library each week, the hub also visited the JobCentre on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am-1pm.

They help clients set up and maintain email accounts as well as develop their digital skills.

Drop in to the service every Wednesday, 10am-1pm at Bideford Library or join the ‘Bideford Work Hub’ Facebook group for more information.