PAUL Worswick and Jayne Sherwood lost their house and car when their skills training business folded around 10 years ago.

The couple, who moved into a council house in Leigh, were inspired by their own experiences of being out of work to set up social enterprise Joining Communities in 2010.

The organisation, which is based at Lilford House on St Helens Road, offers a range of courses such as English, maths and digital skills as well as confidence-building.

But Paul says Joining Communities focus is on helping people with their own situations before they begin to apply for jobs.

Paul, 62, said: “When we were unemployed we were doing everything we could to get a job and realised how hard it was.

“We wondered what we could do to address social issues that people faced and decided to set up Joining Communities.

“We help people from a range of backgrounds with mental health illnesses, physical impairments or those who suffer with a lack of skills and confidence.

“Quite often we need to help with personal issues such as someone struggling to pay their bills or addressing their health problems.

“Although we have a focus to get people closer to the job market, there are sometimes a few steps they need to overcome. We do this on a one-to-one basis so we can understand each person’s situation.

“We need to help them to relax and feel better before they start applying for jobs.”

Joining Communities receives investment from Education and Skills Funding Agency and Wigan Council to support hundreds of people in the borough.

Paul added: “It is rewarding to see the impact that we have had on people’s lives.

“We have had people who have come to us after being estranged from their family after a period of drinking.

“So it is nice to hear that by the time they have finished the course they are back together with their families and are not drinking anymore.”

For more information about Joining Communities visit