Business lender lays the foundation for community support provider

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business
From left: Michelle Padron-Kitching, Andy Clough, and Sarah Thornton with members of the Futureworks team

A property renovation project enhancing practical skills and confidence for people within a community has been given the go-ahead thanks to an £80k loan from the Business Enterprise Fund.

Scarborough-based Futureworks NY is a training and support provider used by people of all ages to help achieve personal potential through engagement and motivation.

Futureworks NY was established six years ago with the vision of working within the community to offer free mentoring and support services to young people and unemployed adults. Services include educational qualifications, practical skills such as plumbing, confidence training and volunteering.

The BEF loan was used to buy a disused Scarborough property, in which members of the community, who are looking to improve their lives and career prospects, could put their attained skills and training into practice to restore the building.

Sarah Thornton, director at the social enterprise Futureworks NY, said: “In the past, we have really struggled to secure funding. Speaking to BEF has been a breath of fresh air – they were incredibly proactive and shared our enthusiasm for the project and supporting our local community.

“The project is now under way, and it is fantastic to see how transformative it has been for our learners. Everyone is getting involved with activities such as plumbing, decorating and gardening. It’s amazing to see that additional skills, such as budgeting and organisation, are also being picked up during the project.”

Robert Appleyard, a learner at Futureworks NY, added: “’It has been great learning skills in the workshop but it’s even better to be able to put these skills into real use in the house project. I am enjoying the teamwork and being able to get stuck in because I like hands on work. I am also looking forward to seeing the house develop and can’t wait to see the end result.”

The Business Enterprise Fund provides funding and advice to businesses across Yorkshire and the North East. Andy Clough, its investment manager, said: “What a brilliant community project with a transformative social impact Futureworks NY is! The team have all worked incredibly hard for this project and I’m delighted to see how it’s helped them achieve their mission of sky rocketing learners’ confidence and motivation – we’re thrilled our loan could help.”