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Delivered through the Northern Inclusion Consortium

NEWSLETTER Welcome to our second stakeholder newsletter. It’s been a busy few months and everyone is working hard developing the delivery model. It’s lovely to hear some of the feedback about the first participants coming onto the programme and the positive work you are delivering. You can read one participant’s story in this newsletter and see how the programme can make a real difference to people’s lives. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything you want to discuss with the programme management team. The delivery model is growing organically and will work best if we are all communicating, sharing ideas and good practice as we go along. We will be setting up a core partnership group and local area delivery groups over the next couple of months to enable us to share ideas and experiences around programme delivery. Best wishes Helen Collins

Building your skills for a brighter future


Since our last newsletter: 

We have welcomed 96 participants onto the programme since we began and we have engaged with 59.5% of people who have been referred to us

We underwent our first claim submission from the ESF/Lottery and aside from a few learning points the feedback was really positive. This programme represents nearly a £9m investment so we must ensure that we evidence all of our funders’ requirements. Thank you to everyone who contributed, we are sharing feedback so we can learn from our experiences for next time

Teams are now settling into their premises in the five local authority areas

Debbie Johnston is in post as the programme’s finance officer. Any finance queries please speak to Debbie (01325) 529212

The programme management team’s focus is shifting from setting up systems etc. to ensuring we perform to a quality standard. We are using the accredited measurement tool ‘Outcome Star’ to evidence the positive work and outcomes we are achieving. Paul Davison is our accredited trainer and all relevant staff are being trained

Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation has started running sessions in Middlesbrough and Darlington to encourage participants to improve their lifestyle through exercise and healthy living. We are receiving some really positive reports about this activity. There are some photos on page 3 of this newsletter, to see more photos from the sessions visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/stepforwardteesvalley

There are two new sections of the website. One is for jobs – both vacancies on the programme, and vacancies that potentially may suit participants. If you have any vacancies to promote please send them through. The other new section is for positive comments about the programme. If you get a compliment about your work on Step Forward Tees Valley, or you have something nice to say about the programme please let us know by emailing hayley.jones@niconsortium.org

At the start of February, we took part in Darlington’s first volunteering fair. This was a great way to let more people know about the programme as well as a chance to network. If you know of any similar events please let us know as the best way to spread the word is to get out and meet people. Anya Deputat is now in place as the programme volunteer coordinator.

Building your skills for a brighter future


Football crazy!

A selection of photos from our sessions with Middlesbrough FC Foundation which are held in both Darlington and Middlesbrough.

More photos on our Facebook page /stepforwardteesvalley and on our website www.sfteesvalley.co.uk

Building your skills for a brighter future


Communications: 

We are redesigning our leaflets and posters to reflect what we have achieved so far. To do this we need photos and case studies from participants. We have already collected some stories and they are really powerful. People respond best to people in the same situation so we need as many case studies and photos of participants as possible to attract more people to join the programme. Please ask your participants if they are willing to be involved (they can remain anonymous if they wish).

These revised promotional materials will help us to develop a consistent image and presentation of Step Forward Tees Valley. It is important that everything that we do reflects this image and all our work can be identified as Step Forward.

We are also developing a communications activity guide, which includes advice on handling the media, the use of our brand and social media activity. The guide will be distributed when it is finalised.

We have produced a short brochure to tell participants a little about the organisations that will be helping them on their journey. The Darlington brochure was the first off the press. You can read a copy here. Brochures for the other areas will be ready soon.

Our likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter are growing and our posts are reaching thousands of people every week. Please like us on social media (either through your organisation’s account or your personal account) so we can share our messages with even more people.

We need to keep getting the word out about the programme. We have stocks of leaflets and posters and would be grateful if people could arrange to distribute these in their area in places where potential participants may go (community centres, doctors’ surgeries; children’s centres etc) If you have any other publicity ideas please do let Hayley know.

Just a note on dealing with media/publicity – please ensure all publicity is cleared by Hayley before it goes out. This will ensure we are complying with the funding regulations. This is especially important in regard to press releases/dealings with the media. Everything should be run past Hayley first to ensure messages are consistent and in line with funding guidelines. We have had experience of a story appearing in the press which was about the programme but failed to mention it by name and did not refer to the funders – we need to use the press to get the Step Forward Tees Valley name out there and any references to us that do not include the funders’ names can’t be used as evidence of the great work we are all doing.

If anyone is approached by the press please do not make any comments (even if it is a positive story), simply pass the journalist straight to Hayley who deal with it in the most appropriate manner. You can reach Hayley at Hayley.jones@niconsortium.org or call 01325 529210.

Building your skills for a brighter future


How we are making a difference

Chris, 47, from Redcar, joined Step Forward Tees Valley in January. Since then she has seen huge improvements to her health, her self confidence and her prospects for a brighter future. “I have always wanted to work and be independent. Everything was going well, I had my family, my husband and a good job in the care industry but when I hit 40 my health deteriorated and it all seemed to go wrong. My GP said I would end up in a wheelchair before I was 50 if I continued in my job but I didn’t want to just sit at home and claim benefits. I went to the Job Centre but they couldn’t help. I was only qualified to do one kind of work but my health meant I couldn’t do it so I started getting depressed and suffering from anxiety. I don’t like crowds so it became easier to sit at home. I saw the advert for Step Forward in our council magazine and after a few days I plucked up the courage to pick up the phone and ring. I spoke to Jane, my navigator, and arranged to meet her. Since then I haven’t looked back. When I met Jane she really understood my situation. She showed me there’s lots of different opportunities out there and different things I can try. She put me in touch with Citizen’s Advice Bureau and they have been brilliant. It had got to the point where we couldn’t afford the bills and we were surviving on £10 a week. It was the Council Tax and water rates we were most concerned about but there were other bills to pay as well – we were robbing Peter to pay Paul and barely surviving. Citizen’s Advice got in touch with the right people and helped sort out managing our debt and reduced our future bills. I have always enjoyed making clothes and sewing but I hadn’t thought about it as anything but a hobby. I buy kids clothes and then unpick them and draw up my own patterns. I bought a sewing machine from a car boot sale and made pirate costumes for my grandsons that they loved. When I talked to Jane about it she made me see it as an opportunity. She has helped me look into business grants so I can set up my own business making children’s clothes. People are already asking me to make things for them and we are turning the spare room into a sewing room so when I am at home I have something to do. I had thought about retraining before but I

Building your skills for a brighter future


couldn’t afford to pay for the courses. Step Forward has put me in touch with the right people who can help me get the funding I need.

Using my caring skills, Jane has helped me get the chance to do some volunteering and mentoring in a charity shop. Step Forward paid for all the official checks I needed so I could take on the role – they’ve made sure there’s no barrier to me getting where I want to be. Jane has given me hope for the future. She doesn’t judge and she has given me something to look forward to. She is just one person but she has managed to get me the help I need from lots of different organisations. It would have been almost impossible for me to get that help on my own – I wouldn’t have known where to start. Step Forward has given me a reason to get out of the house. I am very independent but I was getting stuck and drowning in my anxiety. I was even locking the door to my grandchildren and I didn’t want to become that person. It was hard on my husband too. When you feel depressed it affects people around you and I felt guilty that I couldn’t work. Jane has put me in touch with MIND who are helping me so I can manage my feelings and get on with things. I meet Jane about once a fortnight but she is always on the end of the phone if I need her. She has even come to pick me up for appointments if I can’t get out because of my illness. Whenever we go to an appointment she always tells me to give her a nudge if I don’t like it or I feel uncomfortable. Knowing I can leave and I don’t have to do something I don’t like has given me real confidence. Everything we do is my choice but she has given me these choices that I didn’t have before. Before I felt like I was living in a bubble but Jane has opened up my eyes again. I am so positive now and I am looking forward for the first time in ages. I would shout about Step Forward from the rooftops and encourage anyone to give them a ring – it can change your life.”

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CONTACT US 01325 529210 Email info@niconsortium.org.uk www.sfteesvalley.co.uk

Building your skills for a brighter future

Profile for Step Forward Tees Valley

Step Foward Tees Valley stakeholder newsletter issue 2  

Second issue of our stakeholders' newsletter

Step Foward Tees Valley stakeholder newsletter issue 2  

Second issue of our stakeholders' newsletter

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