Last week I visited Starting Point, a community building in Barking which offers a range of services to L&Q residents and local communities.
Tucked away behind Barking station and surrounded by L&Q homes, Starting Point offers a place for new and growing community groups to work from, to receive the expert support and advice they need to grow, and to build their own support networks with like-minded organisations.
Since 2008, the Starting Point team has supported over 250 individuals to start up their own non-profit organisations and over 70% of those were still running after two years.
Under the same roof, the Employment Support Team offer support and advice on unemployment issues. The team offer help with job searches, interview and employability skills, work experience and mentoring, skills training and access to a wide range of local employers offering vacancies. With offices in Cray, Stratford and Earlsfield, as well as in Barking, our Employment Support Team provide support across London.
The team’s recent successes include:
- 572 people helped into employment last year
- Awarded the Work & Health Programme, the government’s new flagship, national programme to help those unemployed into sustainable employment, particularly those with health conditions
- A job fair in Stratford which had 30 organisations taking part and which attracted 500 local residents
I left Starting Point feeling enthused by those who showed me around. L&Q was founded in 1963 with social purpose very much at its core. We’ve grown since then into one of the UK’s most successful independent social businesses but it is our social roots and purpose which continues to drive us.