AN East Durham charity has launched a new initiative to help people to improve their employment prospects.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson joined local volunteers in official ceremonies at two of the nine new Community Job Clubs on Friday, September 18.

The first Job Club launch was held at Trimdon Station Community Centre, with the MP joining Peter McNestry, chairman of the Coalfield Regeneration Trust, who are supporting the project.

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The second event was held at Gully House, in Wingate, where officials of Durham County Council and the local Area Action Partnership.

Managed by East Durham Trust, the Community Job Clubs are based in local venues and provide the unemployed with more accessible alternative to national Government-funded initiatives such as the Work Programme.

Funded by East Durham Area Action Partnership, the Job Clubs have already helped a number of people into work despite being in existence only a matter of weeks.

Staff and volunteers are on hand to provide support ranging from online Job Searches to CV production and interview techniques.

East Durham Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “We are delighted with the early successes that the Job Clubs have produced and we see this project as a vital response in an area of continued high need.

“We are also delighted that Phil Wilson has given his support to the initiative.”