Education, Volunteering and Community
We provide a range of services that promote education, volunteering and employment.
We want to help all our service users to access educational, volunteering and employment opportunities that enrich their lives and help to create and sustain their independence. We believe passionately that these kinds of opportunities are the best remedies to social exclusion.
WHAT WE DID
In 2016/17 we provided a wide range of services offering education, volunteering and employment opportunities to existing Framework service users and to other people who are seeking support.
Our social enterprises supported people to gain skills and experience in the workplace – at our Barista coffee shops, our estates management company and our training workshop.
We were also commissioned by the Building Better Opportunities programme to deliver a new service aimed at supporting people with complex needs.
Opportunity and Change – A Pathway to Work, is a support programme for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, misusing substances, experiencing mental health issues or domestic abuse, or are current or ex-offenders.
The programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, provides each service user with a locally based navigator, who will support them to become socially and economically included through access to education, training and employment.
We also began working with an entirely new group of people – babies, toddlers and their parents. The Family Mentor Service, commissioned and funded by the Big Lottery, employs local mums, dads, and others with practical childcare experience to act as mentors in the St Ann’s and Arboretum wards of Nottingham.
THE YEAR AHEAD
We are helping more and more people with long-term physical and mental health problems, and people who are disabled. People in these groups experience multiple barriers to training and employment and are hugely under-represented in the workplace and in education.
With the continued squeeze on disability benefits and continued low unemployment we expect to work with more and more people in the next year whose physical health and wellbeing is the primary barrier to them accessing training and employment.
To this end we will seek to develop our existing offer to people with these additional needs. This may include new formal partnerships with third party contractors, and the employment of specialist health and wellbeing workers, occupational therapists and other wellbeing practitioners.