Wellbeing and Purpose
When a Beneficiary initially joins Opportunity Nottingham, they are facing a high level of risk. Their multiple needs will include at least three of the following four; homelessness, substance misuse, offending and mental ill health. Focus is given to these needs and a plan is put in place to support recovery. However, as they progress on their journey towards recovery, it can be the 'small' things, or practical support that can really make a difference. This type of support is not often found within the current and past system approach, but its potential impact is significant.
For this reason, the project allocates funds to support Beneficiaries in relation to their health, wellbeing and feelings of purpose. The type of support is varied and includes the following:
IT Training Courses
Forklift Truck Lessons
The intention is that the support offered will provide the Beneficiary with a positive experience and help them to move forward and focus on their potential, and other elements of their life (not just appointments and assessments). For example, training courses and driving lessons could open the door to employment; gym membership or learning to play a musical instrument can support mental wellbeing, as can a haircut and new clothes.
Beneficiaries who have received this type of support have provided feedback that it had a positive impact. Training and potential employment was linked to the opportunity to reduce debt (a concern for many of our Beneficiaries). New clothes and a haircut helped with confidence, and this was clearly evident to Personal Development Coordinators in the behaviour of their Beneficiaries. For one Beneficiary, being able to buy glasses and the resulting improved vision was significant in helping their confidence.
We also arrange days out, including trips to Skegness, which provide our Beneficiaries with the opportunity to socialise, and escape the city for day.
This approach will continue throughout the project in order to ensure that all aspects of our Beneficiaries lives are supported, and that they are empowered to live fulfilled lives, and think about their future.