Friday 24 May 2024
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Ruth Edwards MP and Minister visit West Bridgford care home and Nottingham Job Centre

Ruth Edwards invited the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, to the Job Centre Plus in Nottingham to meet employers and job centre staff who are helping people get back into work, as well as helping survivors of domestic abuse, through the J9 initiative. 


At the job centre, Ruth and the Secretary sat down with work coaches who discussed their experiences of helping people find work and transform their lives, as well as the different challenges that different age groups face when returning to work. 

The Job Centre Plus in Nottingham has much of the Rushcliffe Parliamentary constituency in its catchment area.


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The centre also has some fantastic domestic abuse specialists, including Nicky Brindley, who introduced J9 safe spaces for survivors of domestic abuse to Nottingham. The first J9 safe spaces across Nottinghamshire were in job centres and now Nicky is working with Ruth to create a J9 safe space in every town and village across Rushcliffe. 

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By providing free training to customer facing organisations, such as shops, cafes, schools and GPs, J9 aims to create a network of safe spaces where survivors of domestic abuse can access life saving support.

When you see a J9 heart in a window, or on a noticeboard, you know that the organisation can help. It was created in honour of Janine Mundy, who was horrifically murdered by her husband and would sign off her text messages with “J9”, for ‘Janine’.


After visiting the Job Centre, the Secretary of State visited Carefound Home Care in West Bridgford, to discuss recruitment and retention of care staff, as well as the company’s work to encourage people to look at a career in care through the Department of Work and Pensions’ Swaps Scheme, which offers pre-employment training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview. This is a vital step to encourage more people into sectors where there are staff shortages. 


The Department for Work and Pensions also has a Youth Offer, which provides individually tailored Work Coach support to young people aged 16 to 24 who are in the Universal Credit Intensive Work Search group. For older job seekers, the Government has created its 50 Plus Network which contains Work Coaches, employers and stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of supporting older job seekers and share best practice for helping them into employment. This has been built on by enhancing the DWP’s “Mid-life MOT” Strategy, as well as introducing a new kind of apprenticeship – called Returnerships – for the over-50s who want to return to work.


Secretary of State Mel Stride said “I was really pleased to visit the Job Centre Plus in Nottingham, where I met several diligent and hard-working staff who are helping people find work. I was particularly impressed with the centre’s support for survivors of domestic abuse via the life-saving J9 initiative.

“It was fantastic to hear about the work that Ruth and her constituent, Nicky Brindley, have done to expand this beyond job centres and I am sure that they will achieve their goal of having a J9 safe space in every town and village in Rushcliffe.”


Ruth said “I want to thank the Secretary of State for making the time to come and visit our local job centre and meet the fantastic team there. It was great that he got to see J9 in action and hear about how it’s saved lives. I know how hard the job centre team work to support my constituents and those of Nottinghamshire colleagues, and their support of survivors of domestic abuse is second to none. 


“They inspired me to set up a network of J9 safe spaces in Rushcliffe and we are now closer than ever to having one in every town or village in the constituency. Domestic abuse is a scourge on society. I am proud of the work that we have done so far and am fully committed to continuing to do everything we can do to tackle this vile crime.”

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