After a brief spell away, we are back with the last entry of 2018 in our Stories with Substance series. This time, highlighting how Views has supported the great work being done by Active Lancashire’s ‘Move Positive Together’ (MPT) project.
Building on their hugely successful pilot ‘Positive Together’, Active Lancashire designed the £6m MPT project with the target to address the needs of 2250 Lancashire residents located in the most deprived neighbourhoods. Through a programme of one to one mentoring in combination with a variety of work experience, apprenticeships, volunteering and training opportunities, MPT seeks to improve employment prospects, increase self-sufficiency and enhance physical & mental health for every participant.
In order to achieve their ambitious goal, the MPT project brought together social housing organisations and local authorities from across the county with several other key delivery partners. In combination, these partners contribute a wealth of experience in delivering similar services as well as a clear understanding of the difficulties that inhibit local residents from accessing training and employment opportunities. However, like many complex multi-agency projects, Active Lancashire faced hurdles in order to maximise the work being done and, more specifically, the method by which the MPT project data is captured and reported on. Carol Ross (Service Development Manager) emphasised the need for a “centralised system which could be accessed by up to 16 delivery organisations simultaneously.” This is where the Views Monitoring and Evaluation system came in, Active Lancashire approached Substance with the need for a system which not only allowed for centralised data capture but also easy analysis at project and partner level. Moreover, Views had to demonstrate the robustness and flexibility to meet a host of European Social Fund reporting requirements attached to the MPT project.
More than a year on and Views seems to be doing just that, Carol stating how “Views has allowed ‘Active Lancashire Move Positive Together’ to meet ESF reporting requirements, track participant journeys and improve case by case management.” Perhaps, even more important has been the impact the project is having on the participants’ personal well-being and their ability to capture it. Through a range of questionnaires recorded using the Views M&E system, Active Lancashire have been able to record participants experiencing good to very good confidence levels rise from less than 20% to 75%; while the number of participants reporting good to very good health has risen from 24% to almost 60%. These figures were further illustrated during a focus group run by external consultants in which participants reported:
“I’m learning to do more things for myself. I believe in myself more.”
“It supremely built my confidence to try again”
“It was a big change because I got the confidence to move and everything else – made me feel like ‘this is me’!”
“It made me feel like a person – listened to and understood – you are worthy”
“I’m learning to live again.”
(More Positive Together – Project Mid Term Evaluation, August 2018)
Given the goals that the MPT project is trying to achieve, you can see why the ability to keep track of the data and the participant journey is essential. To date, the MPT project has engaged with more than 1500 local residents; of which over 200 have already moved into employment upon leaving the programme. Key to the success of the project are the MPT mentors who are employed by partners to provide one to one support throughout individuals’ journeys. “The mentors are funny and understanding and give you the support when you need it. They don’t push you into things.” With caseloads of over 20 participants the Views system has been crucial in ensuring that mentors manage to record all the meetings and actions agreed with participants.”
This impact cannot be understated, as we draw ever closer to the festive period, the work of Active Lancashire can be said to be growing in its importance. The ability of the MPT project to not only provide employability opportunities but also improve participants’ mental, physical and social well-being is changing the lives of hundreds across the county.
If you would like to find out more about Active Lancashire’s ‘Move Positive Together’ project visit https://www.activelancashire.org.uk/mpt or take a look at their great video detailing the journey so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZwYIxeVjE