More Positive Together is changing lives for the better

More Positive Together (MPT) is an impactful County wide project, funded by the European Social Fund and designed to help those Lancashire residents who are furthest from the employment market lead active lives and improve their employment prospects.

Led by Active Lancashire, the partnership project brings together a multitude of organisations including social housing providers, The Princes Trust and a range of Local Authority and Third Sector organisations.  The aim of More Positive Together is to reach out to 2250 eligible Lancashire residents, focusing on those located in the most deprived neighbourhoods, many of whom have multiple and complex barriers to employment and progression such as substance misuse, mental and physical health problems, a history of offending, poverty and debt.

A county-wide team of 42 mentors offers flexible and unlimited one-to-one support to candidates encouraging them to begin to engage with their communities in a positive way.  Of vital importance is confidence building as a step towards residents being empowered to make positive life choices, with the focus on behaviour change and physical activity having significant impact on health and wellbeing.  Ultimately, the objective is to help candidates realise the goal of getting into employment through work experience programmes, volunteering and training.

Feedback from participants of the project has been highly encouraging, with many people reporting that the benefit of having a personal mentor to support them throughout their development journey, and having the opportunity to talk with someone who supported them was crucial in boosting their confidence and helping them to believe in their own ability to achieve.  Here are some example comments from past participants:

“I’m learning to do more things for myself……….”

“It made me feel like a person – listened to and understood – you are worthy”

“It was a big change because I got the confidence to move and everything else – made me feel like ‘this is me’!”

This very successful project has engaged with over 1800 people since inception, and has provided more than 17,500 hours of mentoring support.  An impressive 275 candidates have become employed or self-employed, with a further 186 engaged in studying or training to achieve a qualification.

One of the project partners, Paul Kelly of Community Gateway Association, recently spoke about his experience of working as a partner in the More Positive Together project:

"This project has enabled us to put the person at the heart of our approach, and most importantly, to reconnect them to their community – the place where they live”

The three-year project runs until the end of December 2019, but such is the success of the initiative, that the partnership is now seeking to secure further funding so that it may continue into the future. Organisations wanting to know more about how they could get involved should contact Active Lancashire on 01772 299830 or email contact@activelancashire.org.uk.