Inspira opening centres across Cumbria to help alleviate high unemployment in the County

Photos: Mike Tinnion, Health and Safety specialist, ensuring the centre and office space in Inspira's Workington centre is COVID Secure.
Inspira, the careers management and personal development charity based in Cumbria are preparing three centres to be COVID Secure and ready to open on the 15th of June.

Carlisle, Barrow and Workington will open to help people who struggle to access laptops and computers, to receive careers advice, information, job vacancies and training.

“Our entire staff team are currently home-based and operating digitally. The advisers are available to help young people who are affected by disrupted exams, and adults who are unemployed, furloughed and at risk of redundancy,” said Mark Bowman, Chief Exec of Inspira.

Inspira delivers a number of careers related contracts including the National Careers Service from their Cumbrian centres.

“Our decision to redesign the centres to be COVID Secure and open on a skeleton staff has been taken as it is clear some people need one to one support in order to help them prepare to be work-ready and enter or re-enter the workforce.”

Inspira has worked with Health and Safety specialist Mike Tinnion to ensure the centres can accommodate social distancing, and that enhanced hygiene standards are implemented.

“Ensuring the needs of staff and clients are met is quite challenging, but with detailed planning and adherence to Government guidelines, I believe we have achieved a COVID secure environment which will protect staff and clients,” said Mr Bowman. “We have PPE equipment for staff, masks and sanitising hand gel for clients and we have increased our cleaning capacity.”

Inspira expects that up to 10 clients will be able to be in the centres at any time, serviced by three or four staff. Signage and posters are on display explaining what people need to do, how to stay safe and respect each other.

The centres will be open every working day from 10am to 3pm, appointments can still be made digitally and clients are encouraged to call 0345 6588647 to find out which communication method is best for them.

“There are over 12,000 working-aged people needing our help in Cumbria,” continued Mark. “The team are working hard on the phone, over Facebook messenger and skype, and provided we feel the centres are COVID Secure, the one to one service will recommence on the 15th of June.”

Inspira delivers the National Careers Service in Cumbria and Lancashire, as well as pre-employment programmes with accredited learning in Cumbria.

For further information go to or @inspiraforlife on social media channels.