Unemployed parents in Blackburn have been offered the chance to pursue a career in beauty therapy thanks to Newground Together, the charitable arm of the Together Housing Group.
Newground has funded an acrylic nail course and an eyelash extension course for 12 residents, of which nine are Together Housing tenants.
Newground has commissioned DLB Nail & Beauty Academy to deliver a course at Shadsworth Community Hub, which will result in a qualification accredited by ABT (Associated Beauty Therapists).
The training is one of a number of opportunities being offered via More Positive Together, a European Social Funded project which is designed to help Lancashire residents who are furthest away from the employment market, lead active lives and improve their employment prospects.
Newground Together is one of a number of partners delivering on this project along with Prince’s Trust, other social housing providers and third sector organisations in the county.
Newground Together supports residents in the most deprived neighbourhoods in Lancashire, many of whom have multiple and complex barriers to employment and progression such as lack of childcare.
To overcome this, Newground Together is raising awareness of the free 15 or 30 hours childcare that every unemployed parent is entitled to each week, as well as funding childcare throughout the duration of the course.
Alison Clews, Skills & Enterprise Co-ordinator at Newground Together, said: “According to the Department of Work and Pensions, many parents are missing out on their free childcare allowance because they don’t realise they are entitled to it.
“In addition to funding childcare, it’s to allow parents to learn a new skill and gain a qualification, we are also raising awareness of the free childcare available. This is invaluable because it not only gives the parent some respite but it also allows the children to socialise with other children their age, which is important for development.”
Emma McKay, who has a two-year-old son, said: “I just wanted a better life for my kids rather than being on benefits. I’ve always wanted to do nails and this has helped me. It has increased my confidence/ I suffer from anxiety so it’s good to get out” Emma added that the free childcare offered as part of the course has really helped her son too as he was going through a separation anxiety period.
Alice Priestley is mum to three young kids and struggled with getting childcare to go anywhere so the supported childcare has helped. She said: “You have to keep pushing yourself. You can always find a way. You just have to keep looking” After Alice has completed the course and gains her qualification, she is hoping to work from home and run her own business.
The course is proving to be such a success that some of the girls have booked themselves onto the advanced course, in the hope of becoming self–employed or to work in a nail studio.
DLB Nail & Beauty Academy is celebrating its fifth successful year in business and is run by mother and daughter team, Sue Stanley and Danielle Carolan. Danielle set up the firm in 2014 after gaining 14 years’ practical experience in the beauty industry and a teaching degree from Blackburn College. The firm was shortlisted for the Skills Provider Award at the 2018 Red Rose Awards.
Speaking of the new initiative, Danielle said: “The beauty industry is booming and it’s great that we can help so many people to embark on a new career path. Our students are highly skilled and we’ve a history of training the most talented beauticians in the region. It’s exciting to be able to offer new students the chance to achieve the job of their dreams.”