Grenfell Recovery Strategy

Employment and skills

Community Works

Within the Grenfell Recovery Strategy there is a commitment to support the employment and skills ambitions of residents, outlined by two key action points:

  • Work with the community to agree area of focus for the project, taking into account consultation to date, the targeted Grenfell focus, and the needs of residents
  • Design and deliver a community-based commissioning project in this area

To help meet this commitment, the Community Works project has been developed.  This project has focused on working with residents, in workshops and small groups over several sessions, and with local partners to identify what support is needed and to develop ideas into potential projects to meet those needs.

Residents told us what was needed in their own words:

  1. Work opportunities that fit around school hours 
  2. How to convert volunteering into paid work   
  3. Young people need extra support
  4. A person-centred offer that reflects my experiences and needs, especially when I am vulnerable 
  5. Pre-employment support to rebuild confidence and motivation especially for those recovering from difficult life situations
  6. People who have had to leave or lost jobs because of Grenfell can receive relevant support that meets their unique needs, acknowledging their skills and barriers they face
  7. Support to start and run a business

A list of potential projects were developed which address these needs, and following feedback from residents through the Grenfell Community Assembly and direct contact, two priority projects have been selected to proceed with the £250,000 funding available. We have worked with the community to agree the details of the projects and how the money will be spent to action them. Following these discussions and an open tendering process, the Council has now commissioned four local providers to carry out the employment support programmes under the two newly launched projects. These projects are open to residents living in the seven wards across North Kensington (Dalgarno, St Helen's, Golborne, Notting Dale, Colville, Norland, and Pembridge).

Please see details below of both projects and how to apply. If you have any questions on any of the programmes or would like further information about Community Works, you can get in touch with our Employment and Skills team at [email protected].

What are the projects being commissioned?

Into Work – Employment advisers working in the community

This project responds to the ideas which emerged from design workshops with residents for meaningful individual support in providing employment advice. 

The St Giles Trust has been appointed to deliver personalised employment advice through dedicated advisers to give residents guidance and direct support into training or jobs. This programme will be available over the next two years with targets to:

  • work with 180 North Kensington residents
  • provide detailed individual support (6-10 hours) for 150 North Kensington residents
  • assist 70 North Kensington residents into employment, and a minimum of 50 sustained for 6 months

In addition, the St Giles Trust will be seeking to introduce their award-winning peer adviser programme alongside the advice support. On this programme North Kensington residents who are interested in gaining skills and experience in supporting others can participate, be provided with opportunities to volunteer within the project, using their local knowledge and understanding and in return will have access to a range of City & Guilds assured courses including:

  • Learning to Advise, which covers the core skills and knowledge needed to support to others, and includes components such as safeguarding;  
  • Trauma Informed Practice;
  • and Providing Employment Support to Residents

For those interested in a career in this field, there will be an opportunity to progress to a full Level 3 certificate in Advice and Guidance. The Trust are mobilising for the programme and will be operating fully by 1 April 2022.  

For further information or to apply, please get in touch at   [email protected]

Build Yourself Up’ – A confidence building programme

When discussing what issues Community Works needed to address, workshop attendees identified a key need to help residents with their confidence and motivation to prepare for and get ready for work. Confidence and motivation are very important in taking the steps to move into, or back into, the workforce.

The ‘Build Yourself Up’ works to improve this through confidence building workshops, linked with activities that engage and build upon residents’ skills and interest.

Three local providers have now been appointed to carry out three separate programmes as part of the Build Yourself Up offer. These will be targeted, confidence-building programmes for 25 North Kensington residents per course in its first year. These are:    

Clement James – Women’s Confidence Programme

The programme offers focused support for women over six weeks and includes weekly three-hour workshops at the ClementJames Centre W11. The sessions explore the themes of communication, listening, confidence, self-compassion and boundaries. The programme is targeted at women who may be isolated and lack support networks. To access to the Women’s Confidence Programme participants must have a household income of less than £25,000, be in receipt of benefits, have a child on free school meals or be living in social housing.

Contact details:

Nova New Opportunities – Connecting With Confidence

Weekly sessions lasting two hours over five weeks at Nova’s office at Thorpe Close W10, Al Hasaniya W10 or, if necessary, on Zoom.  This programme has three main features: 

  • Confidence Building Workshops: that include topics such as ‘Speaking Up With Clarity’, meeting new people, feeling better about yourself and raising self esteem.  As part of this, participants will create personal action plans to meet their confidence goals. This is open to residents of all ages and abilities.
  • Activities: Tutors help participants run their own small projects, building on existing skills and expertise.
  • One-to-One Mentoring: The personal mentoring sessions will enable participants to address the barriers to engaging in mainstream employment and will build trust and confidence.

Connecting with Confidence is open to all residents of all ages or abilities.

Contact details:


A series of workshops over eight weeks for Young North Kensington residents of working age 16 to 24.

Eligible residents can find out more and how to apply for the Build Yourself Up programme which best suits them.

Contact details:

What we've done so far

Initial project scoping


Working with agencies and partners, the first stage was to identify the scope for this programme. This includes supporting people who have been affected by the Grenfell tragedy; who are unemployed or in insecure employment; to keep communities at the centre of this work and the project will be community-led. Alongside this, we acknowledged that we need to build trust and ensure there is regular sharing and feedback with the community and that the outcome of this project will be increased levels of good employment for people affected by the Grenfell tragedy. 

We brought together services from the Council, NHS, Department for Work and Pensions, Residents Associations and local voluntary and community organisations so that our solutions are truly joined-up and centred on meeting the needs of individuals.

Gathering evidence of needs


We have gathered evidence from people who we hope will benefit from these services – parents with young families; people who are vulnerable or who have special needs; and people who have been out of work for a long time. They told us what would make the difference for them and we began developing these ideas together.

Developing ideas together


In workshops and follow-up meetings, hundreds of ideas and suggestions were grouped into common themes. These were examined and those that received more mentions and endorsements were summarised into a shortlist of eight potential projects. Following feedback from residents, the two top priority projects to be commissioned with the funding from the Grenfell Recovery Strategy have been selected. 

We are now working with the community in discussion sessions to confirm the details and delivery of these projects and exactly how the funding will be spent. The two projects will then go out to tender for providers to run them, with the aim of launching this year. 

Covid-19 impact


The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed the progress in developing the projects through co-creation. The impact upon the economy and residents’ employment prospects means there is a greater need for support. The ideas developed under Community Works will be fed into the Council’s Covid-19 recovery planning and considered for implementation across the borough to assist residents needing assistance as the recovery from the pandemic develops.

Last updated: 23 February 2023