14:18, Wednesday, 6th February 2019

Ongo is the first to receive Community Led Local Development funding from North Lincolnshire Council to enable them to provide a brand new counselling and life coaching service.

The new service, called Ongo Talk aims to support people with mental health and psychological issues, to improve their confidence and skills and ultimately support them to get back into work. This will be done through a variety of group and individual sessions, carried out by a trained and qualified team.

The £237,000 funding from North Lincolnshire Council’s £2.2m Community Led Local Development (CLLD) Programme will support people living in certain areas of Scunthorpe who require mental health support. This funding complements the £118,000 Ongo is investing to run this service.

CLLD aims to support the unemployed and economically inactive, create new and support existing businesses, and get them into work. The programme is funded by the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.

350 people will be able to access the new service free of charge, depending on their circumstances and area they live, to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The service will also be available to those who don’t qualify for it for free; they will be able to pay between £10 and £25 per hour, which is still below the national rate for counselling.

The project is initially funded for three years, with the aim for it to become self-sustaining at the end of the three years to be able to continue offering this much needed support.

Jan Williams, Head of Community Investment at Ongo, said: “We recognised there is a need for this service because there has been a significant increase in the number of people requiring mental health support.

“We’re teaming up with North Lindsey College and Ambassador Training to be able to offer a full service, offering tailored packages depending on the needs of the individual. We’ll be offering an initial face to face assessment to identify any barriers that are stopping them from progressing in life. Once the assessment has been carried out, they will be allocated a qualified counsellor from North Lindsey College to work with. They will also be able to access various training courses carried out by Ambassador Training.

“We’re really grateful to the CLLD Fund for recognising the importance of this service and supporting us with the three year funding they’ve provided us with.”

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “It is brilliant to see the first project developing after receiving funding from the Community Led Local Development Programme. Ongo will be providing a much-needed service that will aim to support people into work.

“CLLD was created for business and voluntary and community groups to provide opportunities in local communities to offer training and improve skills – giving residents a better chance of getting a job.

“There are lots of job opportunities available and we want to support people to get the right skills that will assist them in getting a job.

“The funding can also help people who may want to start their own businesses. If you think you could benefit from the funding, go to www.investinnorthlincolnshire.com.”

To find out more about this service, visit Ongo’s website.

Businesses and voluntary and community groups can apply for CLLD funding. For more information about the £2m funding programme, visit Invest in North Lincolnshire.

The CLLD Local Action Group oversees the Fund; it is the accountable body for the programme and is responsible for allocating the money.

Examples of what the money could be used for:

  • To help local individuals with potential health and disability barriers to access new training and employment opportunities within the region. The fund can be used to support outreach assistance for those individuals, enable local businesses to make their premises more inclusive and offer business mentoring for individuals looking to be self-employed.
  • To support new and existing businesses grow and develop through small business grant schemes, to increase employment through growth or through financial support towards the development of new incubation units.
  • To help support individuals who are not in education, employment or training raise their aspirations and remove barriers to ensure they are ready for the local labour market.
  • To help ensure the positive partnership groups within the region become more sustainable to help deliver long-term support for residents.

The money is available to help those living in the CLLD eligible areas of Brumby, Frodingham, Crosby and Park, Bottesford, Kingsway with Lincoln Gardens, Town and Ashby.