Inspira: the life-changing North West employability charity helping 12,600 people a year into work or education

A North West-based employability charity which helps disadvantaged people into work as well as offering expert advice on improving their skills to open up new opportunities, Inspira’s remit is a significant one.
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But, faced with the task of reducing inequality and promoting a more sustainable local financial ecosystem, they’re more than up to the task.

Working with young people and adults to build resilience and motivation, whilst also liaising with regional employers and councils to address skills shortages, Inspira’s work changes lives.

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More than 26,000 people accessed their services over the course of the past year alone producing in £4.3m in social value and 12,600 people entering education, training, or employment.

Rachael Slater, Inspira Area Operations Manager for BlackpoolRachael Slater, Inspira Area Operations Manager for Blackpool
Rachael Slater, Inspira Area Operations Manager for Blackpool

Focused on creating not only a better-equipped workforce but a more efficient job’s market to boot, Inspira is enabling people across Lancashire to broaden their horizons.

And demand for their service is at an all-time high thanks to the triple-threat of the cost of living crisis, Covid, and Brexit, which caused unique pressures to the employment market.

Despite Inspira’s chief executive Mark Bowman claiming the pressure on people is unlike anything he’s seen in the last 25 years, the charity is nevertheless persevering, with two of its hardest-working managers - Lancashire Area Operations Manager Rachael Slater and Cumbria and Lancs Contracts Manager Chris Gibson - having recently taken on new roles.

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Rachael was a teacher for 20 years before joining Inspira in July 2021, growing the Blackpool office from a team of one to 21 members of staff, while Chris previously worked in the welfare sector before joining Inspira in 2016 to help the organisation grow its support for adults.