Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes women's charity awarded Big Lottery Fund grant

A Buckinghamshire charity that helps disadvantaged women return to work has received more than £240,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Milton Keynes Women and Work helps women with a range of issues, such as health problems or who have suffered domestic violence.

The charity now plans to set up support groups across the borough.

"It is wonderful to be awarded a grant [to] enable us to expand the services," said chief executive Niz Smith.

"We currently reach about 500 women a year, with this new funding we hope to increase that to around 1,500."

'Lost confidence'

Ms Smith said the organisation enables women to access training courses and advice for finding paid employment.

"We specifically help women who face barriers to work like domestic violence, health problems and caring responsibilities or who have lost confidence because of a long career break," she said.

"We give one-to-one advice and guidance and run training courses teaching them how to write a CV, deal with difficult interview questions and use computers to search for jobs."

She said the £241,464 funding would enable the charity to expand its activities across Milton Keynes.

"By using venues that are local, the project can become as big and widespread as women want it to be and provide activities that are relevant to them," Ms Smith explained.

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