Rotherham MCVC are pleased to have, as a collaborative partner, a new venture called A Working Chance who are in the early stages of developing a support model and their initial outline is reproduced below.

Supporting a New Rotherham

Our Aim:

Our aim is to offer local charities and organisations access to a skilled, reliable and enthusiastic workforce to undertake new construction work and refurbishment projects in the area.

Of course this is limited to smaller works at present, but our services in turn benefits our roster of enthusiastic craftspeople who would love to improve their on the job skills as part of their educational work based placements.

Our Motivation

Rotherham is in need of good publicity. One way to offer community cohesion, positivity and a lift-of-spirit area wide is to explore new avenues of collaboration positivity and development throughout the region.

Our aim therefore is to provide hope through supervised working opportunities, no matter how big or small, to as many people as possible. Creating positive networking opportunities for learners of all types; hopefully also including dedicated and committed unemployed people too, as well as crime victims or just people looking for a career change as well. All are welcome.

Examples of Our Remit

  • Kitchens/Wardrobes made to measure
  • Storage solutions
  • Green Oak buildings
  • Heritage Work
  • Repairs/Maintenance
  • 1st/2nd fix joinery
  • Summer houses

This list is not exhaustive, and the vocation is not limited to woodwork. There will be opportunity for people interested in a number of vocations such as:

  • Photography
  • Marketing
  • Art & Design
  • Other Construction Related Trades

Wider Benefits

As the volunteers get to work in a real life situation, on real projects and can build a portfolio to present to employers. They will be given a chance to do a job application, sit an interview on a panel and receive feedback of the whole process with the aim of supporting their employability skills even further.

We will work with people in a truly supportive way not only by passing on industry experience and tips, but by offering advice and guidance to all volunteers regarding working life in general.

Adding Further Value

Our volunteers will produce work to sell in shops, market stalls and for private customers too. Furthermore, they will be supervised by experienced tradespeople at all times (and the project will be covered via employer’s liability & public liability insurance too).

Progression Opportunities

To leverage momentum one of the main ambitions is to recruit full time staff members and apprentices regularly, to help to grow the business. Ideally we would like the staff members to have progressed from the work experience provision within the project of course too, as this provides inspiration and motivation for all.


Here at A Working Chance we are proud to have secured a £10,000 grant from Awards4all. This has helped us to pay for a modest selection of tools and a robust workshop, together with some funds to cover expenses for volunteers.

We have also secured funding from important and considerate suppliers such as Howden’s Joinery, Snows Timber and Buildbase who have donated a very welcome amount.

We plan to apply for a larger Lottery bid in due course although we aim to be completely self-sufficient within 5 years (as in, we require no external funding).


We will be applying to the Big Lottery for larger funding in due course although alternative funding pots are available. However some of these will not sustain our workshop and equipment over a longer period of time so a client contribution will likely be sought on a per project basis. Charitable organisations will be looked upon particularly favourably however.

As we endeavour to be prudent and to emerge steadily in the market, this will help us to foresee changes in due course and for us to plan for any funding issues that may arise.

Indeed, by keeping our outgoings to a minimum i.e. low rent and equipment costs, we are already on the way to achieving self-sustainability, but market conditions always require a pragmatic approach to reality.

Support from Rotherham College and other prominent stakeholders goes a long way to mitigate wider funding concerns however and in meantime we must concentrate upon building our reputation via consistent outstanding work and good honest feedback.


Recruits will be reimbursed for travel and will be paid accordingly – upon consultation with various stakeholders (Education providers, Job Centres, Organisations, and Individuals etc.)

Our First Project!

Our first project is a sizable wooden train for Bluebell Wood Hospice. A project in which we have secured all materials and sundry items simply by building good links with astounding local suppliers. Bluebell Wood Hospice is a charitable organisation that we have always wanted to support. See the case study on the website!

Could your project be next? Please get in touch

You can find us at our website:

On Twitter:

On Facebook:

Or call us on 01709 321591 (Home) or 07879425574 (Mobile)

What will be the Benefits for recruits?

  • Employability skills
  • Confidence building
  • Chance for an apprenticeship/full time job
  • Working in safe supportive environment
  • Chance for project to grow with them

Benefits for Stakeholders

  • Work ready people for your organisation
  • Meeting strategic aims
  • Positive Publicity

 KPIS FOR 2016

  1. A minimum of 3 large scale projects will be completed by 2017.
  2. To ensure these projects are cost effective to ensure the long term strategy is underpinned.
  3. To build and strengthen partnering links with the following organisations:
  • Rotherham College
  • VA Rotherham
  • Local Government
  • Swinton Lock Activity Centre
  • Wilmott Dixon
  • Rotherham United Football Club
  1. To build and fully equip the company workshop at Swinton Lock by November 2016
  2. To provide the opportunity for several volunteers to gain NVQ evidence.
  3. To provide an honest accurate and transparent report back to the Big Lottery fund upon completion of the first year’s trading
  4. To write a 5 year business plan in order to plan for larger big lottery funding pots and increase commercial output

“I believe the project has great potential to address an often overlooked group” Sarah Champion- MP for Rotherham.