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Stortford Kickstart back in business to offer free help to unemployed jobseekers




A charity in Bishop's Stortford which has helped more than 2,500 jobseekers in the area is back in business.

Stortford Kickstart has been unable to operate its free service for more than a year because of Covid-19 restrictions and its centre at Bishop’s Stortford Methodist Church being flooded last summer.

Now that the floor at the church in South Street has been replaced and restrictions lifted, it is reopening from Thursday (July 29).

Kickstart director Peter Scarlett, centre, and chairman Jim Smith, far right, with new advisors, from left, Terrie Archer, Martin Wylie and Nigel Varnam at Kickstart HQ in the Methodist Church. Picture: Vikki Lince (49535628)
Kickstart director Peter Scarlett, centre, and chairman Jim Smith, far right, with new advisors, from left, Terrie Archer, Martin Wylie and Nigel Varnam at Kickstart HQ in the Methodist Church. Picture: Vikki Lince (49535628)

As usual, people can visit the Kickstart Centre on Thursday or Friday mornings from 10am to 12.30pm. It is a drop-in service so no appointment is necessary.

In its 27-year history, registered charity Kickstart Trust (Bishop’s Stortford) Ltd, aka Stortford Kickstart, has provided one-to-one practical support and advice to over 2,500 unemployed jobseekers – three-quarters of them from Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Stansted – who between them have attended over 11,500 consultations.

That support includes writing CVs, interview preparation and practice, job searches and applications, IT help, and guidance on careers, skills and training.

It offers free use of WiFi, laptops, printer, scanner, copier and phone. It has also a small library of informative books.

Stortford Kickstart is staffed by volunteers with backgrounds in such varied fields as finance, engineering, IT, consultancy, recruitment, building and human resources.

The service was founded in June 1994 with the help of the Methodist Church, which continues to provide premises at a peppercorn rent, and the Rotary Club of Bishop’s Stortford, which gives financial support from time to time.

Kickstart also enjoys support from local businesses including Tees, Genmar IT and Marketing Kinetics, as well as the town and district councils.

Founder and director Peter Scarlett said: "So, if you need help with your CV, interview preparation or any of its services, you are most welcome to visit the centre. You will be assured of a warm welcome and the help that you may require."

For more information call 01279 501745, email info@stortfordkickstart.org.uk or visit stortfordkickstart.org.uk.



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