ESFA Training Grant aids in supporting organisations that work relentlessly for empowering less privileged individuals into employment and further education. Catering to the vulnerable individuals and communities at large, the grant aims at productively reintegrating them back into society.

Renova is one such organisation that the grant supports. A BAME-led charity, it works toward eradicating homelessness in Bracknell (Berkshire) by providing comprehensive, tailor-made support modeled around education and employment training thus breaking the vicious cycle of homelessness.

Providing housing is the first step in the process followed by facilitating primary care, mental health, employment, life skills and education, further sourcing opportunities for employment and volunteering through Groundwork. This is one of its kind initiative in Berkshire and generally speaking in the Thames Valley.

Renova received a grant of £9800 to help 8 men back into work and education.

One among them was Mr.B, who enjoyed school and learning mechanics from his dad who used to store cars for insurance claims. Mingling with the wrong crowd in school, he was once arrested for assaulting a police officer and things have gone downhill for him since then. He lost his confidence, family and community support. The demise of his father broke him completely. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Being in prison gave him a lot of time to introspect.

A representative from probation contacted Renova on behalf of Mr.B in October 2021. Renova gave him shelter and helped him get accepted into a college for a course in Construction (electrical). He has since done a CAP course which included budgeting and managing finances for 3 weeks; a Health & Safety course online which he passed; and currently undertaking mentoring sessions.

As Mr. B puts it, “I enjoy my mentoring sessions as it is a non-judgemental environment. It gives me somebody to talk to and put my opinions across as well as receive somebody else’s opinions from someone who’s down to earth.”

He aspires to have a family of his own and a garage of electric cars like his dad. He feels safe and on the right path with his life.

The Mayor of Bracknell Forest attended the Renova Open Day to give the Renova residents certificates of commendation for completing the Groundwork programme.