THE arrival of a charity in Fishersgate will mean a big boost for people in the area who are looking for work.
Hove YMCA Training has moved into new premises in West Road, meaning it can expand its apprenticeship schemes.
Manager Carolyn Tyrer said everyone in the area, including traders and the Fishersgate Centre, had welcomed the move.
“In Hove, we had a really small centre and it was difficult to be part of the community,” she explained.
“Here, once the traders knew we were coming, they really welcomed us.
“Our learners now have a much-nicer centre to come to and we have made it so much more approachable for local people.”
The charity had been waiting a year to finalise the move from Hove, eventually moving in on November 26.
It is sub-letting from the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which owns the building and occupies the ground floor.
On Monday, three dignitaries, Adur Council chairman Mike Mendoza, Worthing mayor Bob Smytherman and Brighton and Hove mayor Denise Cobb, attended the official opening.
Mr Mendoza unveiled a plaque and praised the charity for its work.
“I hope you have a nice, long future here,” he added.
“The YMCA has developed and evolved over the years and how it has changed! It has now moved into the technology era, which is fantastic, and has embraced that enormously.”
Operations manager Dave Monahan welcomed the local employers and partnerships among the guests.
“It is really, really positive for us,” he said. “We have got more presence here in Fishersgate. It is really important to us to engage with the local community.
“We have got fantastic scope to expand in the new year. We have got the space available, which is fantastic, and we want to widen our provision and work with the local community at the same time in doing that.”
The training programmes are predominantly child care and health and social care, but the plan is to expand the opportunities and build in CV workshops to help give people more confidence.
Jake Harrington started an apprenticeship as assistant administrator at Hove YMCA Training two weeks ago and said the charity had helped him greatly.
“I was looking for work in the administration sector for quite a while without much success,” he explained.
He spotted the vacancy online and successfully landed the role.
Jake said: “I am really enjoying my time here. As well as full-time employment, I am also undertaking a level two business administration apprenticeship, which will benefit me greatly now and in the future.
“I believe the company is a fantastic example of how to help those who have been seeking employment for quite some time and just need that chance.”
The YMCA ethos is to inspire, develop and transform people’s lives.
It helps people of all ages and there are 300 people on the Hove centre’s books at the moment.
Carolyn, who used to work for the DWP and took on the role a year ago, said: “We are not profit-making. We are a charity and it is about their journey and supporting them through it.”