Museum wins Community Challenge bid

Becky Sutton working with a Suffolk Punch Horse in the grounds of the Museum ANL-141231-111332001
Becky Sutton working with a Suffolk Punch Horse in the grounds of the Museum ANL-141231-111332001
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The Museum of East Anglian Life has received a grant of £20,000 to help disadvantaged people get into work.

The museum, in Illiffe Way, Stowmarket, was awarded the money through the Local Enterprise Partnership Community Challenge and the Suffolk Community Foundation.

A project will begin this month to provide a varied training programme involving practical experience to prepare individuals for employment.

John Lanagan, CEO of the museum, said: “The museum is a community hub and we are absolutely delighted to have been offered this opportunity to help people to achieve their goals in a unique heritage setting.

“Over the years we have developed a variety of successful training and skills development courses enabling people to get into paid employment and some of our trainees stay with us either as volunteers or staff so we must be doing something right.

“We are grateful to our learning partners and to out new local business partners too who will be providing ‘taster’ work opportunities as part of the new ‘work to achieve’ project.”

Becky Sutton, 26, was offered a place on a three month taster course in 2011. Since then she became a part time museum assistant at the museum and has recently started as a Communities Officer with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.

She said: “I’ve made work contacts and the networking has improved my confidence and communication skills.

“I’m now getting into more of a learning-focussed role. This is not something I would have even considered three years ago.”

Mr Lanagan said: “We believe this project will benefit local people and local businesses too. It’s great news for Stowmarket and Mid Suffolk and we look forward to working with our new trainees in the New Year.”