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Helping people to find self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth is at the heart of what we do.
There is nothing like paid employment or volunteering to trigger aspiration and achievement.
The Opportunity and Change project has been making this happen for six and half highly successful years until its closure this spring.
During that time Opportunity and Change supported 1,595 people to move closer to paid employment or into work across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
People who benefited often faced many challenges. These included homelessness, mental ill health, substance misuse, domestic abuse, and offending.
They enjoyed a range of support. This included employment-related coaching, group-based activities, therapeutic interventions such as equine support therapy and one-to-one sessions. They also received specialist support, and advocacy to ensure that their needs were correctly assessed by public authorities.
These resources were provided by a wide-ranging partnership of more than 20 organisations. The project was led by Framework and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.
Participants made great progress. As a result:
· 151 participants started paid employment
· 188 participants began a formal educational or training course
· 138 participants started volunteering.
Richard Oskwarek, Framework’s Operations Manager of Employment and Skills, said:
“Congratulations to everyone who took part. They achieved so much.
“And our thanks go to all the partners. Their skill enabled people who suffer severe and multiple disadvantage to access a unique range of resources.
“Staff can be proud of what they did. Their creative approach during the pandemic ensured that support continued throughout.
“Staff also created new features to improve the project. For instance the campaign to raise awareness of dyslexia and give better support to staff and participants. Special support was also provided for refugees of the war in Syria.
“The opportunities provided have changed lives.”
See how Opportunity and Change lived up to its name in this video:
Or visit Framework’s Opportunity and Change playlist on YouTube to watch a variety of individual stories.