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REACH: Rural Employability, Arts, Careers and Help

REACH is a small scale, 6-month pilot project funded by European Social Fund and the Education & Skills Funding Agency, and commissioned by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP. The project runs from April to September 2021, working with parents of school age children who have been out of work long term. Delivered completely free and online and by phone, the programme aims to work with people unable to easily access mainstream provision, perhaps because they lack access to public transport, or cannot fit class times around school pick-up and drop-off times, or because of health conditions making it difficult to commit to regular attendance at a learning centre. REACH offers an intensive programme of activities, from which individuals are able to identify what is most helpful for them.

  • Every participant has a dedicated 1:1 Advisor to help them to address underlying barriers to employment such as mental health difficulties, literacy and numeracy, lack of recent work experience or references, a need for vocational qualifications or access to IT.
  • Every participant is offered a maths and literacy assessment, and offered one to one or small group teaching to brush up their skills and, if necessary, prepare them to join a mainstream course to gain a recognised qualification.
  • IT equipment and internet access can be provided to those in need, as well as one to one and small group sessions on those IT skills that people want to develop.
  • Creativity workshops enable people to build their self confidence through creative writing and performing arts.
  • Support to progress into volunteering, paid employment and/ or accredited learning.
  • Confidential financial inclusion and debt management advice.
  • Comprehensive benefits checks and support to apply for additional funding if eligible, such as PIP or Carer’s Allowance.
  • Advice on criminal record disclosure and DBS checks.
  • Referrals to specialist support such as bereavement counselling or healthy lifestyle services.

The project is being delivered in partnership with Lincs Digital, Kei Bailey and Katy Roberts Consultancy Services.  

For more information about the project, please contact: Jennie Eaton, Project Coordinator at jennie@voluntarycentreservices.org.uk