HUNDREDS of people with a background of addiction, homelessness and offending have been helped into employment through a pioneering new project.

Way Ahead, run by Wheatley Foundation, has supported more than 320 people over the past year in Glasgow resulting in more than

£8 million of social value to the city.

The project provides work, training and education to people aged 29 and over, helping them into work and out of debt.

In turn, it saved the public purse money by improving health, reducing drug use and alcohol and securing stable accommodation for those in need.

Wheatley Foundation Chairman Sir Harry Burns, former Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, said: “This ground-breaking programme is providing life-changing benefits to some of the most vulnerable and excluded people in Scotland.

“Way Ahead is helping people who never thought they could ever find a job or go into training or education.

He added: “It is bringing about positive change in their lives in terms of their confidence and overall happiness.”

An independent report concluded Way Ahead’s 10 mentors had “enabled customers to achieve transformational change in their employment prospects, confidence and aspirations, and wider quality of life”.

Wheatley Foundation is the charitable organisation of Scotland’s leading housing, care and property group.

Over the year, it has invested more than £3.5 million on 21 programmes that have improved the lives and life opportunities of over 10,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Wheatley communities across Scotland.

Way Ahead, which is funded by the European Social Fund and Wheatley Foundation, is delivered in collaboration with Glasgow City Council and several third-sector organisations.