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Mindful Gifts CIC

Small Black Country third sector organisations are being encouraged to follow the example of a Walsall charity who are helping people back into employment thanks to the support of a £20,000 grant from the European Social Fund Community Grants Programme.

Mindful Gifts CIC successfully applied for the grant to deliver the Developing Confidence Project. Over the next six months the project will support long term unemployed individuals back into work. Specialist support is offered to people who have been out of work due to caring responsibilities or to those who face challenges finding work due to a mental health problem or learning disability.

Through years of experience the staff and volunteers at Mindful Gifts recognise that raising confidence is key to helping people re-enter the job market. Utilising their shop in Darlaston Mindful Gifts will deliver a range of activities that gives the participants experience through volunteering and running activities. Mentors will work alongside learners to help develop the skills and confidence they need.

Specialising in dementia awareness and memory loss support Mindful Gifts is the ideal supportive venue for those nervous about taking a step towards further work or training. The organisation recently received a Queens Award for voluntary service and is recognised for the benefit it brings to the local community.

“ We always look at what the volunteers can do, rather than what they can’t and make reasonable adjustments to suit everyone’s needs. As Mindful Gifts CIC specialises in dementia and the shop is set in the past, our volunteers are able put something unique on their CVs. This includes experience in retail and hospitality. We also give references for job applications. We recommend applying for the Community Fund as the process is very straight forward “

Vicki Phipps
Founder of Mindful Gifts CIC

Third sector and not for profit groups that help improve the skills and job prospects of local residents are welcome to apply for Black Country ESF Community Grants. To be eligible organisations need to have an annual income below £300,000 and demonstrate an innovative approach to helping people who are out of work or disadvantaged learn new skills and move closer to the workforce.

Applications can be made to Walsall Council who successfully tendered to act as the local Grant Co-ordinating Body on behalf of the ESFA for the second time running. Application materials, eligibility criteria and guidance are available by contacting Walsall Council External Funding Team

The Community Grants team are available to offer support to organisations interested in making an application. If you would like to discuss a project in more detail please contact Community Grant Manager Ruth Burgess Successful applicants will also be able to access bespoke training and capacity building support to enable them to deliver the part EU funded project.

Notes to Editors:

  • Contact - If you would like any more information regarding this press release, please contact Ruth Burgess, External Funding and Community Grants Manager at Walsall Council, on or visit

  • European Social Fund - The project is receiving up to £990,000 of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit


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