A PROJECT has been called a credit to its community as it provides support, training and confidence to residents of a Copeland town. Skills4you in Cleator Moor provide courses to people of the town to tackle unemployment and raise aspirations in the area.

Cleator Moor town councillor Michael Eldon believes the charity is a “vital” part of the town. He said: “At the end of the coronavirus pandemic there will be a lot of people that need retraining, it’s going to be vital not just to Cleator Moor but to Copeland.

Skills4you and garden maintenance business Works4you are branches of Karen’s company Home to Work.

Coun Eldon said: “They don’t get enough credit for what they do. It’s fantastic that we’ve got groups like that and we need to make sure that they keep going.”

Managing director Karen Jones also runs a charity shop on the town’s high street and she played a key role in the Cleator Moor Covid-19 Support Group.

As well as offering employability skills at the Ennerdale Road centre, the project provides a support system. Karen said: "People can come and get help and support. A lot of our clients have complex needs. We have group relaxation sessions and support for anxiety and depression."

Skills4you has seen a number of success stories, contributing to the High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Award which they received in July. Karen said: "There are a few people that have said 'I want to talk about what you've done for me.' We have a 71 per cent success rate of people moving on to other things whether it be jobs, starting their own business or other training courses."

Rod Gordon was taking part in the woodwork course before the coronavirus outbreak brought sessions to a halt. However, the centre have been keeping up with their clients through lockdown, they lent Rod a bike to benefit his physical and mental health during the pandemic.

Karen thanked the project's funders, Copeland Community Fund, Cumbria Community Fund and Sellafield Limited.