RESIDENTS in three Somerset towns will be the first to benefit from a new wellbeing initiative funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund and delivered by health and wellbeing specialists Pluss.

Funding for the Engage Somerset project, which will involve Chard, Highbridge, and Glastonbury has been awarded by the UK Government and will be administered by Somerset County Council.

The scheme aims to help 500 people currently not in work to become more physically active and equip them with the skills they need to move closer to employment.

The project will run from January to the end of June 2022.

Emma Westcott, Pluss operations manager said: “We’re excited and keen to get things underway. This will be a partnership-led project, drawing from the valuable skills and experience from Somerset-based partners, who we’ve worked with previously. This will allow us to hit the ground running.”

The partnership will include Pluss, SPARK Somerset, Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), and digital specialists, Cosmic. The overall aim is to promote social inclusion and combat poverty, with an underlying aim to support people towards and into employment.

Engage Somerset will be a community-based social prescribing service.

SASP will help people who would like support with their self-confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing, both physical and emotional as they work on the skills they might need to move towards employment.

Other planned support will address developing employability skills, such as CV writing, interview skills, and effective job searching.

Tailored digital skills training, and support, will be delivered by digital inclusion partner, Cosmic.

Topics covered will include the use of smartphones, online banking, social media, and using the internet to search for jobs.

Digital skills coaching is a fundamental element of this project, allowing participants to become more digitally independent and develop the knowledge and skills that help them make smart choices and take control of their digital lives.

Community Coaches from Pluss will work with people to offer one-to-one coaching and motivational support with topics that include money management, accessing benefits, housing needs, healthy eating, and leading a more active lifestyle.

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. Engage Somerset has received £559,678 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

For more information and how to get involved, email