AROUND 25 adults are helped each day at an unemployment service set up in Wokingham two months ago.

In May Employment Plus Local set up shop on Sturges Road as part of the Salvation Army.

It aims to inform and guide unemployed people as increasing large numbers are shut out of mainstream employment support by a stricter job centre remit.

The service is added on to a volunteer-run community drop-in which has been running for more than seven years.

Jan Howlin, The Salvation Army officer at Wokingham, said: “Some people come to us and they may have mental health issues, some are experiencing homelessness. Some have found accommodation but still need support.

"Sometimes people don’t have access to a computer or they can’t read or write. We’re not about seeing numbers, we always try to see the person as a whole and will offer tailored support. "I’m delighted we now have this dedicated employment support service that’s open to anyone in the community who is looking for work.”

One person helped by the service was Megan, a 48 year-old who started to visit Wokingham Salvation Army four years ago after struggling financially.

The support started with a food parcel, but now Megan is able to use the computers and gets help with searching for jobs, and answers to any question she has with her hunt for work.

She said: "I find it very helpful to be able to come in here and be able to use the computers and to search for jobs.

"I need to work to get money to pay my bills and live. I can also use the phone at The Salvation Army to call up and ask about a job. I'm looking for kitchen jobs or cleaning jobs."

Councillors Oliver Whittle and Julian McGhee-Sumner Wokingham Borough Council visited the service as part of the UK-wide Employability Day initiative, which aims to show the impact of local employment support on communities.

Cllr Oliver Whittle said: "I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the officer and volunteers and the work that they do, particularly with people who are homeless and those who are unemployed. And I am pleased that there are strong links to the Wokingham Borough Council staff. The support to encourage people who are unemployed to seek work of whatever nature is to be applauded and it is impressive that links have been established with local businesses."