‘Building Better Opportunities’ to help disadvantaged people across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay

A partnership of seven Devon organisations has been successful with a stage one application for the ‘Building Better Opportunities’ programme in Devon.

Building Better Opportunities is a project jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The new proposals, called ‘Positive People’, will help Devon’s most socially excluded communities return to employment, education and training.

The partnership plans to support over 1,300 individuals who are out of work and face a range of barriers to build their skills, confidence and motivation. This will include people with disabilities, people with mental health issues, ex offenders, homeless people and people over 50. Support for individuals will include basic literacy and numeracy skills, help to master digital technology, and preparation for work including job search.

The programme aims to benefit local communities by reducing poverty and anti-social behaviour. It will also contribute to the growth of the local economy with employers having access to a pool of people with the relevant skills to meet their needs.

Lead partner Pluss will now work with the team of partners and other key stakeholders on the stage two bid which, if successful, will allow them to access £5 million in funding to deliver the programme over three years. The core partners are Pluss, Tomorrow’s People, Westward Pathfinder, Cosmic, Devon Community Foundation, Torbay Community Development Trust and Plymouth Octopus Project. There are also 55 additional partners across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay (listed below).

The partners will also work closely with the Heart of the South West LEP, Devon County, Plymouth City and Torbay Councils, Devon District Councils, and communities and participants to co-design the programme.

Pluss’ Chief Executive, Steve Hawkins, said “The partnership is aiming to support hundreds of disadvantaged people across Devon into sustainable employment.

“Working with the Big Lottery Fund is a proud moment for all seven organisations. This result confirms that our Devon partnership has the potential to deliver significant positive social change at a time when local devolution means Devon is taking on more responsibility for its own future.”

A successful outcome at stage two will see delivery of this programme begin in early 2017.

For more information please contact Geraldine Scott-Smith, Communications Manager, on 07766 367267 or at geraldine.scott-smith@pluss.org.uk

Additional Partners:

The additional partners in the bid are Acacia Training and Development Ltd, Action for Blind, Action on Work and Disability (AWDUK), Active Plus, Authentis, Battling On, Broadreach, Careers South West (CSW), Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT), Cinnabar, Community Housing Aid, Cornwall College, Dangerous Dads, Devon CAB, East Devon Volunteer Support Agency, Eat That Frog, EDP, Effervescent Social Alchemy, Encompass Southwest, Exeter YMCA, Freedom Community Alliance, HCT Group, Hikmat Devon, Motiv8, Norpro, North Devon Homes Ltd, North Prospect Community Learning, Open Doors, Opportunity Plus, Organic Arts, Petroc, Play Torbay, Plymouth Community Homes, Plymouth Sports Academy, Plymouth YMCA, Pop-up Business school, RiSE, Royal Association for Deaf people, Shekinah Mission, Sound Communities, South Devon College, SPLAT, St Sidwells, Surf Action, SW Lakes, Sylvan Adventures, The Creativity Centre Educational Trust, The Trussell Trust, Torbay CAB, United Response, University of Plymouth-Serio, Westward Housing, Wings South West and WKUK.