Board the Ark if you're on the edge of crime
A BODMIN community project has used funding from the Home Office and Jobcentre Plus to help tackle antisocial behaviour and unemployment.
The combined funds have enabled The Ark to build a recording studio and a new training and meeting room equipped with 12 laptop computers as well as a projector and speakers for multimedia teaching.
Officially opening the recording studio on Monday was Tony Hogg, Devon and Cornwall's new police and crime commissioner.
"Both sets of funding were intended for very specific purposes," said Colin Martin, managing director of The Ark on Fore Street.
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"But because of the way The Ark works, we have been able to combine both grants, along with funds raised from other sources to create something which is greater than the sum of its parts.
"Neither the Home Office nor Jobcentre Plus could have funded this alone, but both of their aims will be met with these shared facilities," said Mr Martin.
They are available on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to run a "Work Club" where jobseekers can meet others looking for work, build new contacts, share job-hunting experiences and get advice on interview techniques, CVs, training and qualifications.
There will also be training in how to set up the recording equipment and use music editing software.
The computers are available six days per week for members of the Work Club to use free of charge.
When not in use for work-related activity such as searching for jobs or writing applications, the laptops are also available at no extra cost to anyone buying food or drink in the café.
"The same studio and function room will also be used to run a youth group starting in the new year, but we need support staff to run it," said Mr Martin.
"We are working hard to find funding for paid staff, but anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch with us as soon as possible."
Tony Hogg said his previous job with a youth-work charity made him passionate about early intervention to reduce crime.
"I really believe that well-targeted projects can make a difference for those hovering on the edge of crime.
"So I am really pleased to see grass-roots community groups like The Ark using Home Office funding in this way," he said.