As part of the organisations aim to support with restoration, The Brick Works offers skills and training to individuals looking towards further independence. The opportunities that are offered are co-produced with those that wish to take part, but there are a group of core mentoring services on offer throughout the year. These are Catering, Retail, Bike mechanics and Pat testing.
Through working with mentors in specialised areas and undertaking meaningful engagement, individuals have the opportunity to gain key skills but also have access to an incentive programme. Through displaying commitment and progress, people undertaking mentoring can access discounts, goods and team away days such as Go Karting. Both the mentoring opportunities and team away days encourage and support social skills and help prevent isolation. There is a genuine sense of community at the Brick Works and as the building is open to the public and also operates as a functioning shop, workshop and cafe, community integration takes place.
Alongside the incentive programme, The Brick Works offers accredited courses to individuals in areas of key interest to enhance CV’s and increase the likelihood of potential employment. Individuals taking part in mentoring will receive dinner and expenses occurred with travel which will be reimbursed. The Brick has great connections with local employers who offer opportunities to those who feel ready and are in a position to go into paid employment ensuring further financial independence.
Asset coach – Craig Wadsworth
Craig is an asset coach working on a SIB project (social impact bond) for The Brick that was set up by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to support entrenched homeless and rough sleepers – part of his big plan to eradicate homelessness by 2020.
Here Craig talks about his work and passion for assisting people to rebuild their lives….
“Before anything else, the people we work with should be seen as a human being, like everyone else in society. Not a social status and statistic. I aim to assist people to feel empowered to make their own good choices in life.
“I work with people on a person to person approach, there is no authority – as this would really put some of the people we work with off – and engagement is one of the biggest hurdles that we have to get over.
“I work with people who have come into crisis intervention and assist them to get out of their situation, whether that be homelessness, debt or substance abuse. It is normally more than one issue. We support them to make positive decisions like getting onto a training scheme, taking on a volunteering role or employment.
“The Brick Works really helps to assist with this – as people can go along and volunteer to see what they enjoy doing, learn new skills and socialise at the same time. Ultimately it is about getting people used to a healthy daily routine – and other positive changes will follow.
“All the decisions the people we work with are their own – it is the best way for it to become sustainable change. It just helps that they know people care and want to assist them.”
Training Co-ordinator – Amy Clark
Amy is a Training Co-ordinator working at the Brick Project, she works to help train clients and trainees via group session and qualification courses – Part of her daily effort to improve the lives of the Brick clients.
“So I’m a Training co-ordinator. I organise group sessions, activities and training for clients and trainees at the Brickworks. This can involve anything from gaining qualifications, to arts and crafts sessions. We have a wide range of groups active at the Brick”
“My aims are, that I’d like to enable people to gain any skills there looking to obtain and gain a level of confidence that they might not have had before. I also like to find activaties and work, that clients haven’t enjoyed before or they think they won’t like and motivate them to give it a go, because often people find that enjoy things they never thought they would.”
“I try and achieve this by listening to the people I’m working with and finding out what they want to achieve. I then try and orientate them towards those goals and find training sessions such as the Bricks Step to Success program, which teaches skills such as wood work, cooking and food preparation, it can also provide qualification in areas such as I.T, health and safety or anything that matches with what they do.”
“I enjoy working with the clients in groups. What keeps me passionate is learning what they enjoy and what they like to do and then seeing people each day, grow and find ways to connect with their own passions and also gain confidence in their ability to achieve there goals.“
“I can remember working with a girl and we directed her to the Brick café; I push her to get her food hygiene qualification to level two and now thanks to that placement and qualification the café is looking at keeping her on for full time placement.”
“The Brick today, has a lot more services available, that they didn’t have when I started such as Asset Coaching and the Step to Success program; each new service means we’re increasing the number of ways in which we can support people.”
“We always need volunteers, particularly in group sessions as we often have leaders but it’s nice to have another person in the room as it provides the people with that extra support.”
The Brick Shop is a charity shop selling donated goods, often to people on low incomes. The shop gives clothes free of charge to people referred by Wigan Council. The shop is one of the main hubs within its community.
The Brick Giving aims to put an end to poverty and homelessness in Wigan and Leigh. Our #BrickbyBrick campaign is working to raise £175,000 to purchase The Brick Works and make sure no one in our community is left behind.