As the UK slowly emerges out of lockdown, the effects of the pandemic are rife within the communities of Leicestershire, with many individuals now unemployed or facing more barriers when it comes to finding work or training opportunities. Two Leicester based projects exist that can help to tackle this.
Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) deliver two employability projects that are funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund; the Getting Ready for Employment and Training (GREAT) Project and the Youth Employability Support (YES) Project. The projects, which are free to access, set out to reduce social isolation and increase employability skills by offering support that can help with a range of topics, including health and well-being.
Combined, the GREAT and YES Projects have supported over 1,200* individuals to date, helping 39% of those move into work, training or further education, with many more seeing improvement in their confidence and skills. However, to better support the individuals they work with, the projects have enlisted the help of two local organisations to provide health and wellbeing support to participants; Optima UK and Trans4m Leicester CIC.
Whilst both projects offer tailored and holistic support to help individuals move into work, training or education, they each work with different audiences. The GREAT Project specifically helps members of families that are unemployed, whereas the YES Project works with young adults, aged 15 – 24, that are not in employment, education or training.
Working with GREAT, Optima UK will be providing a range of sessions designed to support individuals overcome any health or wellbeing concerns they have that prevents them from moving into employment or training. The topics covered are relevant to a variety of needs and change regularly, but include themes such as: managing low mood or worry; having health conversations with employers; developing healthy habits and managing health at work. The sessions are delivered as group sessions and on a one-to-one basis, dependent on need and circumstances.
Delivering to YES participants, Trans4m Leicester CIC are providing a series of three workshops that aim to help young people better understand their health, find out how their choices affect it, and gain skills that will help them to feel healthier and more positive. Made up of three modules: ‘self-assessment’, ‘positive steps’ and ‘moving on’, young people will try out a range of activities including mindfulness, exercise and preparing healthy snacks. The workshops are delivered by an expert health practitioner who ensures that the course is not just educational, but also fun, and the young people will also get the opportunity to meet others in a supportive, friendly environment.
Vandna Gohil, the Executive Manager for both projects, said:
“It’s a really exciting time for both the GREAT and YES Projects having secured health and wellbeing provision from Optima UK and Trans4m Leicester CIC. They will offer much needed bespoke and tailored support to all of our participants.”
Both projects are pleased to say they are accepting new referrals and encourages direct contact from young adults, family, friends, stakeholders and referring organisations to get in touch. For more information about the GREAT Project or the YES Project, please contact the team by email or make a referral via their website.
The GREAT Project:
0116 257 5020
The YES Project
0116 257 4973
To find out more about Optima UK, click here.
To find out more about Trans4m Leicester CIC, click here.
VAL is a charity dedicated to helping change lives for the better in local communities since 1965, but has been delivering both the GREAT and YES Projects since 2016. Combined, the projects have had a huge impact on the communities they support.
*Figures accurate to 31 March 2021.