About Us

History

Edward Road Baptist Church

Edward Road Baptist Church

The Jericho Foundation started with a simple drop-in service for the local residents of Balsall Heath, Birmingham, in 1987.  The area in those days was particularly deprived and unemployment was very high. The Reverend John Mallard was the pastor at the Edward Road Baptist Church. He decided to open up the church hall on Wednesdays and offered a very simple pastoral service with hot drinks and biscuits to local residents of all faiths. John also had the idea of setting up a training centre to help some of the local residents to gain skills and experience to help them get into work.

In 1993 the Jericho Foundation Charity was established and the drop-in service then developed an employment focus to help locals apply for jobs. With the goodwill of some volunteers, the jobs section of the weekly local paper, a basic computer and a telephone, locals from the community accessed the service to apply for work.  It soon became clear that for some of the local residents, a simple service involving jobs/skills matching and help with applying was not going to be enough.  Some of the barriers being faced by these individuals were complex and challenging, and many people who were accessing the service desperately wanted to improve their lives, but were experiencing a range of barriers that kept holding them back.

Christine Parkinson, John Mallard, Salim and Shamim Stephen

Christine Parkinson, John Mallard, Salim and Shamim Stephen

John, Christine Parkinson (a Baptist Missioner) and others then embarked on a fundraising mission to purchase land or a building to realise John’s long-held vision of a training centre.  It took five years of fundraising, but in 1998 the current Jericho HQ building was purchased and JCP Community Business Project Ltd was created. This was Jericho’s first social enterprise, wholly-owned by the Charity, operating as a print business and a local corner shop.  The model was based on the “Glasgow Works” ILM model, where 60% of time would be engaged in real paid work experience in the business, 20% on personal development and 20% on some sort of accredited formal training.

This started a journey of serial social entrepreneurship that saw us develop a range of social enterprise businesses each responding to combination of client aspirations and labour market opportunity.  We also established a team of highly qualified and experienced client support workers to mentor and train our clients whilst they undertake their work placements.

About Us Today

Today Jericho employs 70 core staff with a further 40 apprentices and other clients undertaking supported work placements in one of our 8 environmentally-friendly social enterprises. Our turnover is approximately £3.2m.

We seek out and engage people who experience significant barriers to being fulfilled, skilled and employed. We aim to help them overcome these barriers and gain relevant vocational skills to secure sustainable employment. We do this through providing real work experience in one of our social enterprise businesses and we combine this with an individually-tailored package of personal support, guidance and training.

The people we work with are often held back by a wide range of barriers to employment, training or social inclusion. These might include long-term unemployment, lack of skills or qualifications, homelessness, alcohol or substance misuse, a criminal record, low self-esteem or confidence, mild mental health problems or no history of work experience.

We also work with a number of Survivors of Modern Slavery. Jericho is the only organisation in the UK with the expertise and resources to deliver a complete programme of work experience, training and tailored support to the victims of modern slavery. This holistic help enables these survivors to end their dependency on benefits, secure sustainable employment and become an inclusive and integrated part of their local community.

Our range of social enterprises provide safe learning environments for our clients while operating as commercial initiatives. Through these enterprises we offer a wide range of products and services and seek to serve the local community. All our projects contribute to the core Jericho vision and are underpinned by our values of honesty, quality, value for money and care for the environment.  Work placements are available in print, catering, construction, landscaping, cleaningrecycling and more.

Find out more about how we work with our clients here.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter
* indicates required