Merton Partners to boost opportunities in Merton

The Merton Partnership is to invest £1.7 million in local community projects. Seven initiatives will see residents in the borough benefit from a range of educational, employment, health and volunteering opportunities.

The Merton Partnership, which brings together the council, NHS, police, fire brigade, business, faith and voluntary communities, received 16 project proposals from across the borough.

Seven projects to benefit from the funding were selected by the partnership for the innovative way in which they attempt to bridge the gap between the less advantaged and more affluent areas of the borough. The projects will offer residents the opportunity to get involved and see a real difference over the next three years.

Each of the projects draws on expertise from a variety of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in Merton. They will all add value to the borough as they also draw on extra funding from other sources and support increased volunteering.

The largest grant will fund a programme to work with families living in the Phipps Bridge estate in Mitcham. The project will provide tailored support to families to help them address a number of issues including health and well-being, employment skills and educational achievement.

Another project to benefit from the funding is the three-year Merton Apprentice Programme to be developed by Merton Priory Homes, the borough’s major social housing provider. Merton Priory Homes’ trade contractors will support local unemployed residents through a structured programme leading to an apprenticeship or skilled trade job.

Funds have also been allocated for an employment programme aimed at young people led by the Grenfell Housing Association. Ten unemployed young people from Merton will be supported through nine months of employment to develop work-related skills and contribute to delivering training to a further 50 unemployed young people.

The Performance Reward Grant will also be used to help set up initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by encouraging active lifestyles and healthy eating.

Through all the projects, the council is looking to see more volunteering, increased levels of aspiration, better employment opportunities and improved health among its residents. It also hopes to see a fall in crime and anti-social behaviour as a direct result of improving people’s quality of life and providing life-changing opportunities.

The successful bids can all be seen at http://www.mertonpartnership.org/prg

Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “We have always been determined to invest the Performance Reward Grant in innovative new projects to the benefit of our residents. All the chosen projects were developed by partner organisations working for the community in Merton and have clear objectives they need to deliver.

“I look forward to seeing every stage of these projects, and the eventual practical benefits they will provide the community once they are up and running.”

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Notes to editors

The Merton Partnership was established in 2002 to co-ordinate the delivery of services and other activities in the borough to improve the quality of life and physical environment experienced by Merton residents and visitors to the borough.

The Merton Partnership comprises the following:

Merton Council, London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police, Sutton and Merton NHS, Job Centre Plus, Merton Voluntary Sector Council (MVSC), Merton Unity Network, South Thames College, Merton Priory Homes, Merton Chamber of Commerce, Merton Interfaith Forum, and the MPs for Mitcham and Morden and Wimbledon.

The Phipps Bridge Estate Project will be led by the Children’s Trust Board – part of the Merton Partnership – which bring together all agencies that provide services to children and families in Merton.

Merton Priory Homes (MPH) was formed in 2010 following the transfer of housing stock from Merton Council. MPH owns and manages nearly 9,461 homes across Wimbledon, Morden and Mitcham in South West London.