WY-FI entered Year three of the project in June 2016. A Big Lottery funded partnership working collaboratively with services and beneficiaries (service users) across West Yorkshire as part of 12 National Fulfilling Lives Projects. Our aim is to engage and support individuals with experience of Multiple Complex Needs (MCN: Homelessness, Offending, Mental Health & Addiction) and contribute to movements in system change that improve accessibility to individuals experiencing MCN. As a specialist provider within the partnership we lead on BME Engagement & ETE (Employment, Training & Education).
Through one-to-one caseload support, community development, partnership working and delivery of training we work to collaborate with West Yorkshire communities to increase awareness of BME Complex Needs, reduce stigma and increase access to appropriate services. 80% (18/20) of delegates at Understanding Multiple Complex Needs in BME Communities training rated the overall effectiveness as 5/5. With one delegate stating, “It’s changed my views and understanding of people’s (BME) struggles and hardships”, with another adding, “I will be more conscious of what underlying issues may be affecting engagement with services”.
Over the past two years we have supported over 70 people with lived experience to access Touchstone’s accredited Level 2 Peer Mentor Course. As of June 2016, 36 learners have gone on to volunteer within the WY-FI partnership or a local service and 13 are known to have gone on to paid employment, with others choosing to focus on their recovery needs (something we acknowledge as an essential part of personal development!).
Supporting beneficiaries to explore Employment Training and Education (ETE) as part of self-identified goals, we recognise the impact of living in chaotic situations. Working with navigators and beneficiaries to explore meaningful ETE opportunities – for example attending courses that tap into personal interest or co-producing volunteer roles within the project to enable an asset-based approach to learning (such as our Peer Learning Assistants).
Developing a paid Trainee Progression Programme we support people with lived experience to join the WY-FI workforce through an adapted GROW model approach.
Through partnerships and co-production we continue to evolve an inclusive approach to support and learning.