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Can We/Should We Support The Unemployed In Sheffield


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I am sure we are all aware of how unemployment is already increasing, and the end of the furlough scheme is going to increase it further, with some forecasters expecting unemployment to increase towards 20%.


We know in Sheffield the long-term impacts of significant levels of unemployment, the impact of dying industries in the 80’s impacted the people of Sheffield for generations.


The impacts of Covid-19, we can only hope, is more short-lived than the structural changes of the 80’s.


While pondering these challenges, I wondered if we could, as a community, find a way to help those people losing their jobs, I don’t think this is easy, and I am really interested in the thoughts of those people on the forum, to see if there could be a way to help.


As I see it, we would need to bring together the following three elements, money, people who want to work and projects that can make a positive impact on our communities.


1.       Would people financially support a fund created to pay recently unemployed people to work on community projects?


2.       Would people to be happy to work on community projects to earn some money while waiting for the economy to restart?


3.       Are their any projects out there that could be completed.


Each element of the 3 points above have their own challenges and nuances, the following are some, but not an exclusive list.


·         We would need to create a charity or trust to manage the funds.

·         We would need consistent funding as people will become dependent upon the funds.

·         Will people contributing money want a say on how it is spent.


·         The additional income should not affect any other financial support received.

·         The work needs to be rewarding as well as providing money.

·         The work should not feel like a “chain gang”.


·         These should not be projects that employed people could or would deliver.

·         The projects should not replace the responsibilities of the council etc.

·         The team should be able to deliver the project to an appropriate standard.


I appreciate there are a broad range of charities that provide fantastic support, however I wonder if a 12 month project to support the specific circumstances of Covid-19, to provide employment, not only to provide money, but also a reason to be involved in a project and feel part of the community and valued along with creating a better environment by completing specific projects.


Your thoughts would be really appreciated.

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 You have obviously given some serious thought to this, but you've posed lots of questions and problems but no answers. I think you need to start with some of your own ideas. What, for example, do you think would make a good community project? You want to help which is very commendable, but this is really what the council should be doing, or nationally at government level. 


I know people in general want to help in the pandemic, but this usually means supporting businesses by using them, or by supporting properly organised charities, food banks, credit unions etc.. They also pay their taxes which should go towards paying unemployment benefit (which isn't enough incidently, and very difficult to get, maybe we should lobby the government about that.) etc. Beyond that everything becomes problematic because of the specific circumstances of covid which actually prevent people from mixing and discourages community. I haven't much in the way of ideas I'm afraid, and judging by the lack of responses neither has anyone else.


During previous employment crisis in Sheffield, there was a swapping system called 'Lets' or 'Stones,' where people could join a register to offer their skills and services, for which they gained credits, which they in turn could use to 'pay' for the services and skills they needed, (if that makes sense.)

Now, with the help of the internet, that is an idea which might be revived, but again, as we are prohibited from mixing with other people in their houses, it may well fall foul of covid restrictions. See what I mean? 


Not a very helpful response I'm afraid, but you did ask for thoughts. Maybe this will help get the ball rolling with better ideas.  

Edited by Anna B
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Hi Anna


I agree this is not easy, one of the reasons for trying to get a broad consensus.


I agree that local and central government have a significant role to play, but we all know those wheels move very slowly and the government are focused on support via companies, which doesn't help the unemployed.


People I have spoken to would provide the money, I think the other elements are more difficult.


I don't know of any specific projects. Hoped there might be some suggestions, there must be a charity with a project that they would do, but can't fund.


Hopefully from more thoughts and suggestions from SF.

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First off, and most important:


Central government will not fund, support or in any way help in this venture at all. The council might.


Any efforts will need to be done from your own back or in conjunction with other charities, all of which are struggling. Start local, get neighbours involved if they can.

Edited by tinfoilhat
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I wasn't expecting central or local government assistance, I think Sheffield people  will support it.




I have seen a number of posts in various places offering help for kids meals in the school holidays.


I think people really want to help, so I don't think funding is the issue.


My other questions around people and projects I see as more challenging.

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