ViSTA currently offer the following projects:
ViSTA’s job clubs offer a friendly and professional support service to people looking for work or a change of direction. Our staff and volunteers go that extra mile to help people with setting goals; job searching; CV writing; getting an email account; connecting with employers; making applications; interview practice and identifying training and development needs. We also help people to get work experience and start volunteering. On top of this we build morale and keep people motivated by encouraging them to believe in themselves and to keep on trying.
Mentoring for Jobseekers
We can offer one to one confidential mentoring to people who need support to get into work. The service is currently aimed at people who are seeing a personal advisor at Job Centre Plus and have not yet entered the Work Programme. Our mentors can help people to overcome problems and barriers that will bring them closer to being able to work or support them into a job and at the beginning of a new job – which can be a difficult time for some.
Active and In Touch
ViSTA’s Active and In Touch team support volunteers to befriend isolated and marginalised people to help them connect with their community and give a hand with things like shopping, finding housing or getting access to health care services. Most of all, our befrienders have time to listen, and give lonely people the chance to unload and to talk. This project is all about supporting neighbours in need and re-connecting people with themselves and the outside world.
Spotlight Community Reporters
Community Reporters is about giving people the skills and the chance to tell their own stories and their community’s stories the way they want to – without the media messing it up or misrepresenting things.
Our latest project is in Halcon in Taunton – to find out more about how you can get involved come to one of our taster sessions in February at the Acorns Childrens Centre in Halcon.
Locality, the national network for communities ambitious for change, is coordinating the government-funded nationwide programme of Community Organising. Delivered in partnership with Action to Regenerate Community Trust (RE:generate) the programme will provide training and learning placements around England for people wanting to gain experience and qualifications in Community Organising. ViSTA are hosting five Community Organisers who will learn to build relationships which enable residents, groups, associations, and businesses in a locality to develop their collective power to act together for the common good. They will be using Root Solution Listening Matters - a dialogue and action-based programme that supports transformational change in individuals, groups, organisations and institutions.
RAISE (Racial Awareness, Inclusion, Support & Education) is a support service for Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) children, young people and their families.
Somerset is a large rural county with a small BAME community, considerably smaller than the national average. This does not mean however that the issue of racism is less prevalent in Somerset; in fact evidence shows that BAME individuals and families living in rural areas are more likely to be subjected to racism and social isolation than their urban counterparts.
We provide three types of support: casework, group work and school-based work.