Leicester based projects help nearly 1,000 residents move towards work or training, saving the DWP £300K

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) has secured continuation funding for both the GREAT Project and the YES Project, as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme by The National Lottery Community Fund.

VAL is a charity that has been helping local people change their lives for the better since 1965, but has been delivering both the GREAT and YES Projects since 2016. Funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, both projects exist to help promote employment, social inclusion and growth within the local community. Combined, the projects have had a huge impact on the economy, adding £1.7m through average wages. In turn, this has saved the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) £300K in benefit claims.

Since both projects inception, they have supported a combined total of 969 participants*, with 232 of these participants moving into employment after completing their time on their respective project, and a further 126 participants moving into further education.

Participants that completed either the GREAT or YES Project also saw their personal lives dramatically change for the better. A combined total of 589 participants felt an increase in their confidence levels, 582 participants reported development in their skills and 550 participants said they felt relationships at home had significantly improved.

The GREAT Project and the YES Project, along with VAL, would like to thank all delivery partners for their part in delivering both programmes. With their support, both projects have been able to successfully change the lives of many individuals from Leicester and Leicestershire.

VAL looks forward to continuing the GREAT Project and the YES Project into 2022 in partnership with local voluntary and community sector organisations.

Vandna Gohil, Executive Manager for both projects, said:

“The last three years have been highly successful for both projects and combined, they’ve made a huge impact on the local community. We now look forward to the continuation of both the GREAT Project and YES Project, and we hope to build upon the success by helping more residents of Leicester and Leicestershire.”

The GREAT Project

Simon had ongoing health issues and became unemployed as a result of this. He began to suffer from depression and anxiety, which led his GP to inform him of the GREAT Project. Simon decided to self-refer, and his attendance and commitment to the project was exceptional. He accessed a variety of courses and sessions whilst on the project, and it helped him overcome his barriers. Simon also found that he was not alone, with many other people facing similar barriers to him. Through the GREAT Project, Simon found a full time role that he enjoys and feels he can excel in.

Simon said:

“The [GREAT] Project benefitted in me in so many ways, and it obviously helped me gain the employment that I desired. I’m grateful for all the project has done, as it really did help to change my life.”

The YES Project

Lee left school with low levels of literacy and numeracy which badly affected his confidence. He first joined the YES Media programme, part of the YES Project, and this is where his confidence blossomed. He then went on to do a series of employability support programmes, as well as work experience at Seed Creativity. Lee soon felt confident enough to apply for jobs and he was quickly offered multiple interviews, resulting in a local trampoline park soon offering him a full-time role.

Lee said:

“The support I have had from the YES Project has been amazing. Getting a full-time job after a long period of unemployment is all down to the help I have received from them.”

Both projects take self-referrals and organisational referrals, and encourages those that have barriers to work and need support to contact them. Individuals can self-refer using the following contact details. Organisations are free to contact either projects in the same way.


Contact details for both projects:

The GREAT Project:

0116 257 5020




The YES Project

0116 257 4973




*All figures shown are dated from the start of the project until 30 June 2019.

Add Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.