Belfast foodbank now helping locals find work through recruitment days

Foodstock in West Belfast has added another tool to its arsenal for tackling poverty in the community by helping people find work.

The charity already helps locals through its foodbank, preloved uniform hub, breakfast clubs, healthy snacks for schools and even helps families learn to grow their food with seeds they provide.

Now founder Paul Doherty has launched recruitment days at the Andersonstown Road hub to help those who are out of work find employment.

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Paul told Belfast Live: "We've had an absolutely incredible response with people coming and signing up and being employed with immediate jobs, which is fantastic.

"You can see the lift in people... [they] are coming in with their heads down and they are walking out feeling 10 feet tall which is an incredible thing to see here in the community. People need that.

"It's fantastic to put this on in the heart of the community in West Belfast and we are going to continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead."

Industrial Temps and G2C (Gateway to Choices) were on hand to take people's details and get them set on the path towards employment when we headed along to see how it was going on Friday.

Paul added: "At our community solidarity hub at Foodstock in West Belfast we are working in partnership with Gateway to Choices, basically giving people in the community the opportunity to get greater opportunities when it comes to employment and training.

"That for us is very key in terms of what we are trying to do here. We are trying to tackle poverty in the community.

"We run a foodbank... seeing some 500 homes being supported on a weekly basis and families come here to avail of free school uniforms. We run breakfast clubs in the community as well and people just sort of need pulled out of the circumstances they find themselves in."

NI Gateway to Choices, which was launched by Belfast City Council and is funded by the Department of Communities, supports people aged 18+ who are not working to find a job, return to work of start studying again.

Trained advisors offer independent, tailored advice and guidance to help people find the right support to progress towards employment, education, or training through the scheme.

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