Groundwork is a training provider and environmental regeneration agency based in Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent. What that means in plain English is that one of the things they do is take long-term unemployed people and get them ready for work again with a programme of training and paid work.
For BBC Radio Stoke’s Inside Lives, a number of people involved with Groundwork have been working on the stories of their lives and work.
Melvin Durber is one of the supervisors at Groundwork – he is responsible for getting young men and women back to work. It is a challenging role – demanding emotionally and physically – as is Melvin’s favourite leisure activity – football refereeing, which he talks about in his Inside Lives story.
One of the young men who has been given a helping hand by Melvin and Groundwork is 19 year old Andy Jones from Bentilee. After coming to Groundwork – Andy found employment on an in-house building project at Groundwork’s Burslem base.
Now Andy is looking forward to a bright future – as he explains in his Inside Lives story – which Andy recorded while he was driving down memory lane on home turf in Bentilee.
22 year old Marvin Watts had been on the dole for far too long when he was given a helping hand by Groundwork. A combination of training and work experience on landscaping projects has boosted his employment prospects, given him greater confidence, put money in the bank, and helped him with the ladies – as he explains in his Inside Lives story.