A pilot project set up to create opportunities and employment prospects in Burnt Oak will collect an award from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) this week, recognising their excellence in cross-organisational working.

The DWP recently announced that the Burnt Oak Opportunity Support Team (BOOST) won the London and Home Counties One Service Network Excellence Award in the Social Justice Category.

The BOOST team will also be put forward for a national DWP award later on this year. BOOST is part of a Working People Working Places (West London Alliance) project, which also has a sister scheme running in neighbouring Brent.

Chief Executive of Barnet Council, Andrew Travers said: “Our Corporate Plan includes an ambition to help residents to help themselves, and the work of BOOST is a perfect example of this ambition in action.”

Barnet Homes Chief Executive, Troy Henshall said: “I have been amazed by the positive impact BOOST has had on the community in just six short months and am proud that Barnet Homes is one the partners involved in this success and delighted that the Department for Work and Pensions has recognised the team with this richly deserved award.”

BOOST is a multi-agency project made up of staff from Barnet Homes, Barnet Council’s Benefits Service and Education and Skills team and JobCentre Plus,  all operating from the official base at Burnt Oak Library. The project has a community partner, Love Burnt Oak and staff from Future Path Ltd who provide motivational return to work coaching.

BOOST is a project that brings together staff from Barnet Council’s Benefits Service Barnet Homes, Education and Skills team and   Plus, Future Path’s Health Coaches and the Love Burnt Oak voluntary sector network  to help people into work.

The team have signed up 300 local residents since May and they have supported over 100 into work.

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