Opportunity and Change is a specialist employability project, and is part of the national Building Better Opportunities programme; jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. The project is led by Framework, a charitable organisation dedicated to delivering housing, health, employment support and care services to people with a diverse range of needs.
Opportunity and Change supports individuals with multiple and complex needs - some of the most socially and economically disadvantaged people in our local communities - to move closer towards employment, training and education. People with multiple and complex needs refers to individuals facing a number of complex problems at the same time. These problems often develop over many years, as a result of traumatic life experiences, are intersecting in nature, and include: homelessness, substance misuse, domestic abuse, mental ill health and/or being at risk of reoffending.
By mid-August 2019 Opportunity and Change had supported 899 individual ‘participants’ across the D2N2 region (Derby City, Derbyshire, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire), through a delivery partnership of fifteen community-based organisations. The majority of participants (76.8%) were facing either two (40.2%) or three (36.6%) complex problems when they first accessed the project. A total of 422 participants to date have made significant progress in addressing their complex needs since engaging with Opportunity and Change:
Despite unemployment being the most common factor amongst those facing multiple disadvantage, many services that help and support this diverse and growing population are not equipped to deliver employment-related support. Opportunity and Change offers employability to those furthest away from the labour market alongside support to address their complex needs. By engaging in a person-centred and holistic range of one-to-one and group support, training and therapeutic interventions, Opportunity and Change participants are able to broaden their social networks, increase self-confidence and motivation, improve health and wellbeing, learn new skills, and increase their employability. Some of the unique provision that participants have benefitted from to date, includes:
Opportunity and Change was launched on 1st October 2016 with a budget of £4.5 million to deliver until September 2019. After a successful 2.5 years, in May 2019 the project was granted extension funding of £4.1 million to deliver until 30th June 2022. Through this substantial European Social Fund and National Lottery Community Fund investment, the Opportunity and Change partnership has been able to successfully support:
For more information on Opportunity and Change, visit their website.
This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.