One of the great pleasures in my job is to meet people who have a huge passion for what they do, so I very much enjoyed seeing George Gallop last week. George runs People Plus in Southampton, a company which helps people on the Government’s Work Programme. The Work Programme is designed to help those who have been on Job Seekers Allowance for over 3 months get back in to work. Often there are a number of barriers for some people to successfully get find a job and George and the team at People Plus do an inspiring job in helping people overcome them.
I was very pleased to meet one client who had been out of work for a couple of years, one of the big barriers for her was her extreme shyness. She is now a supervisor in her new job and is hugely proud of what she has achieved with the aid of George and the staff at People Plus. She is now much happier and more outgoing, proving that the Work Programme goes beyond getting people back into work, it also helps provide lifelong skills.
On Sunday I joined a large congregation at the Romsey United Reform Church for the service to commemorate the Battle of Britain. The annual service remembers the remarkable victory achieved in the skies of Britain in 1940 and the great sacrifice of those 544 RAF airmen who lost their lives.
I was also very pleased to be at the opening this week of the Southampton University Science Park’s new building in Chilworth. The Science Park is very much the jewel in the crown of the local economy and its continued expansion is good reason to celebrate. The opening occurred on the same day as the Nucleus Expo 2016 which showcased Hampshire’s most exciting science and technology-led innovations.