Making a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable Birmingham citizens

PURE (Placing vulnerable Urban Residents into Employment) is the name of a Birmingham City Council led project, part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). 

Ultimately the aim is to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable Birmingham citizens, who face multiple and complex barriers to employment. The work involves understanding their needs and providing the appropriate IT equipment to enable them to gain employment, education or training and help them overcome digital poverty. 

With the second phase of the project is now underway, the approach has evolved to maintain delivery despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the team successfully securing additional funds from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), to help address digital poverty across the city and contribute towards enabling a ‘Digital Birmingham’.

The PURE team, supported by the council’s IT and Digital Service, is now focussing on delivering a managed service for loaning IT equipment and providing IT training for those registered on the PURE Project.

It’s anticipated that this new service will be introduced in January 2022, providing between 200 and 500 laptops and 20 Android Tablets, with hardware and software to support specific needs. The type of IT equipment and the loan period will vary, dependent on individual needs. Certain devices will have specialist software installed to cater for those with visual and hearing impairments for example.

Anyone seeking to benefit from the scheme, needs to be registered with one of the PURE project partner organisations: 

  • Trident Group - Support for homeless households including families and individuals;
  • Birmingham Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWAID) – Support for women fleeing domestic abuse;
  • Greensquare Accord – Support for offenders and those at risk of offending;
  • Midland Mencap - Support for individuals with learning and physical Disabilities/Difficulties;
  • Rathbone – Support for individuals with Learning and physical Disabilities/Difficulties;
  • Cranstoun – Support for individuals with complex needs including Mental Health;
  • Birmingham MIND – Support for individuals with Mental Health barriers;
  • BID Services – Support for individuals with Physical and Sensory/Hearing Disabilities;
  • FareShare West Midlands – Provide support to vulnerable adults with new opportunities to access employment and training through a structured programme designed for the warehouse and retail sectors.

More information about the PURE project, the eligibility criteria and application process is available on the Birmingham City Council website.

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