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Progress2work: Getting Started Week 3

Progress2work is an adult employability project funded by the European Social Fund. The programme seeks to support those further from the labour market using new and tried and tested methods.  

We are currently in the initial stages of planning and setting up the progress2work programme, and we wanted to keep track of how we’re getting on and to give updates of our progress. For the next few weeks we’ll be putting out a weekly ‘Getting Started’ news item, filled with all the details of how we’ve come together as a team and started getting the project ready for launch.  

Continuing with our field research and the engagement aspect of our project, we have been visiting and investigating the areas we will be operating in. This week, we’ve found some great links for volunteering opportunities in the Leeds locations, and finding community groups and centres which will cover a great range of interests our clients would like to access 

During our visits, our team members have been learning and understanding the nuances within each small community. By identifying these potential challenges, we can plan ahead and create solutions to support our clients to deal with them. Adding to this, we have been using existing research relevant to the project to widen our knowledge in preparation for delivering our project. For example, our Volunteer Training Coordinators have been reading up on BAME representation in the volunteering sector, and getting involved in research using their own experience.  

With the current situation regarding Covid-19, we’ve been exploring new ideas to expand our reach through virtual support sessions, online training clips, and digital open days for the project. This way, we can stick to the guidelines and create accessible ways to learn more about what we can offer, and benefit from our support.  

Our therapeutic worker has been creating even more resources for clients, as well as finding potential facilities for sessions. They have also been creating relationships with health services, finding potential partners for specialist assistance to support the challenges clients might face. For example, the aspire2work ESOL team have passed on resources and guidance so the therapeutic worker can fill any communication gaps which might arise. Legal and safeguarding guidance is also being consulted to ensure that we can deliver appropriate and suitable therapeutic support within the project. 

Tying in with the engagement aspect of the project, we have been publishing blog posts on the aspire-igen news page! Our logos have been finalised, and we can start to create more marketing materials that will help us promote our project. 

Networking has been the theme of the week amongst our team members! Whether we have been making community links, learning more about our own organisation, or building relationships with other service providers, we’ve been finding our feet and promoting the project far and wide! With the progress we have made this week, we can start looking forward to launch events, starting to support our clients to with the aim of moving them into employment, education or training. 

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