HIWCF is delighted to announce that the Solent Supporting Employment (SSE) Programme has awarded grants totalling £396,000 to eight organisations across Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.   

The grants are supporting employment projects managed by charities, community groups and organisations across the Solent LEP area, enabling disadvantaged or vulnerable people facing barriers to employment to move closer towards work or into employment. The projects aim to reach those who are long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, single parent families and people in black and minority ethnic communities, particularly in areas where deprivation is high.

The SSE Programme was created by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), with generous match funding provided by HIWCF donors, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council.

The grants represent the second round of funding from the SSE Programme and the organisations and areas benefitting from funding are listed below:

Organisation Area
Y Services for Young People Fareham
Motiv8 Gosport
Oarsome Chance Foundation Gosport
Community First Wessex Havant
Osel Enterprises Ltd Isle of Wight
HIVE Portsmouth Portsmouth
No Limits Southampton Southampton
Itchen Sixth Form College Southampton

 Kate Shurety, Interim Chief Executive for HIWCF said: “We are delighted to be working with the European Social Fund and our local authority partners in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton to provide this vital opportunity encouraging local people into work. Our communities have been massively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and this funding will increase employment prospects and outlook for vulnerable local people, giving them the chances that they deserve and making a lasting difference to their lives. I would like to thank all of our funding partners and our HIWCF donors for their support in making these grants possible.”


HIVE Portsmouth has launched the Pozzability Project to support people with disabilities in the Portsmouth area to move closer towards employment.

Sandie Davis, VCSE Sector Development Worker at HIVE Portsmouth said: “This grant is enabling us to help people with disabilities to regain lost time and opportunities and make meaningful connections to support their financial independence through work or training. We value volunteering as a pathway to independence and we aim to offer placements that can help Portsmouth to become a truly disability confident city, find out more on pozzability@hiveportsmouth.org.uk.”



No Limits will be working one-to-one with young lone parents in the Southampton area to boost confidence and employability skills. They will engage in careers advice, create an action plan with goals broken down into small steps with milestones, work to remove barriers to employment, boost confidence and employability skills. This may involve activities such as short courses and tasters, college open days, support with applications and job searches, mock interviews, confidence boosting activities, as well as a range of other support including budgeting/debt work, housing advice, childcare advice/options, safeguarding and personal development.

Maria Slevin, Service Manager at No Limits Southampton added “We are delighted to receive this funding to enable our support for young, lone parents to expand and to specifically support these young people into employment”.


ISLE OF WIGHT – Working Towards Wellbeing

The ‘Working Towards Wellbeing’ Project, run by Osel Enterprises Ltd will utilise the organisation’s valuable experience and knowledge of supporting people with mental health needs, to help lone parents and parents from disadvantaged and vulnerable families on the Isle of Wight to move closer to employment.

Julie Gladman, Employment Service Lead at Working Towards Wellbeing said:  “We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding that will allow us to set up our ‘Family Employment Advice Service’ for lone parents and troubled families living on the Isle of Wight, delivering a unique combination of support and personalised service provision. This advice service will take a holistic approach enabling parents to access to a socially inclusive life by undertaking voluntary work, training or progressing into paid employment, empowering them to reach their full potential leading on to more choice and control over their lives.”


HAVANT – Community First

A grant to Community First in Havant will provide support to local people who are unemployed and economically inactive in the Havant area, through a weekly job club offering face-to-face support, an online job club encouraging peer support and sharing of experiences, staff support to ensure clients reach their goals and a tablet loan service for those who are digitally excluded. A tailored programme of training for those who wish to become self-employed or need assistance with developing a social enterprise will also be available.

Mandy Harris Community Development Director at Community First said “Community First is delighted to be awarded this funding and we are grateful to HIWCF for their support. It will enable us to realise our plans of a Skills and Employability Hub in Leigh Park Community Centre, to support the residents of Havant Borough. Our Positive Pathways and Training Teams will work together to offer training, information and guidance to local people seeking employment. At a time when unemployment is growing in Havant this has never been more needed.”



Motiv8 has launched the innovative Ignite Project, creating a youth and community preparation training hub for those who are currently unemployed or inactive living in the Gosport and Fareham area. The project will encourage people from black and minority ethnic communities, people with disabilities and those facing barriers to employment to engage in development programmes supporting them to pursue a career in youth work or wider community support roles. The project will give local people the opportunities they need to begin a valuable career in the youth and community sector which is currently facing a real shortage of skilled staff.

Claire Ansell, Chief Executive at Motiv8 said “Routes into youth and community roles can be hard to navigate and have eroded over the years. For those facing multiple barriers to employment, the opportunity to gain valuable experience can also be difficult. The Ignite Project offers local people a supportive environment in which they can test whether the youth and community sector is the right career option for them, while the project will in the longer term help to resolve the skills shortage we are experiencing in this sector in Gosport and Fareham.”

Since 2006, HIWCF has distributed £13 million in grant funding to support those less fortunate across local communities. The team are keen for local businesses, families and individuals who would like join forces with the Foundation to get in touch, to help the local charitable sector to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.