A new project which aims to help disadvantaged residents improve their confidence and prepare for the job market has received a significant donation after an application from Havering Council’s housing partner Wates Residential.

The £11,500 funding for Stepping Stones comes from Wates Giving, following a grant application from JV partner, Wates Residential, which is working with Havering Council on the borough’s biggest regeneration project.

Stepping Stones will provide 40 three hour lunch and learn training sessions, a number of mini workshops to help people living in homeless hostels and women’s refuges in Havering.

Shelley Hart, chief executive of Havering Volunteer Centre, said: “The funding will make such a difference to so many individuals by giving them the ‘stepping stone’ to a brighter future.

“It is also important because volunteers support the community and are vital local heroes.”

The first session took place on January 8, with sessions continuing to run until the end of the year. Four learners have been already enrolled onto the project.

Kate Ives, development director at Wates Residential, added: “As we continue our work in Havering, we have been thoroughly impressed with the positive and vital work that the Havering Volunteer Centre does.

“We really look forward to seeing the benefits the project will deliver for local people.”