AN INITIATIVE helping disadvantaged people in a hard-to-reach part of Clacton has been hailed a success.

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The Enfold Project was set up at Pier Avenue Baptist Church last year to help people in need in the town’s Pier Ward.

It was given a £17,000 grant from Tendring’s Big Society Fund to help finish work on the building, completing new showers, toilets and facilities for the disabled.

The scheme also received funding from Essex County Council, the Primary Care Trust, Essex Environment Trust and the Fowler Smith and Jones Charitable Trusts.

The project was recently visited by Tendring District Council (TDC) leader Peter Halliday, Essex County Council portfolio holder for public health Ann Naylor and county councillor Ann Brown.

Mr Halliday said he was impressed with what the Enfold Project had achieved in a short time.

“They are doing a great job to provide vital facilities and support,” he said.

“While many of the people go back on a regular basis, the project has now dealt with 100 different people over the past year.

“The Enfold Project has had a direct and significant impact on improving the lives of a significant number of people in the Pier Ward and is making a real difference to many lives.

“I am delighted that their application for TDC’s Big Society Fund money was successful and has been put to such excellent use.”

The project provides free breakfasts and showers to those living in night shelters or bedsits, a child contact centre on Saturdays and a computer lounge. It is also introducing a job club to help the most vulnerable people turn their lives around.

The church has around 20 volunteers who run the service with the support of Beacon House nurses, Citizens Advice Bureau, One-Support Housing and the Volunteer Centre Tendring who offer a variety of services.

Enfold Project leader Duncan Wood said: “We are now getting more young people coming along and there has been a rise in the number of women.

“We had none to start with but they now account for around 20%.

“The child contact centre was taken on because the previous one in the town had shut and we now have 24 children attending each Saturday from about a dozen families.”

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