Devon Communities Together have recently published the ‘Empowering Enterprise Impact Report’ which looks at the amazing achievements delivered by the Empowering Enterprise project over the past four years.
‘Empowering Enterprise’ is a project, led by Petroc, and funded by the European Social Fund and National Lottery Community Fund, which supports disadvantaged 18-24-year-olds who face some of the biggest barriers to getting into work, education and training. Through a combination of one to one mentoring and group activity sessions, young people gain confidence, skills and experience and are supported to navigate a path into work, education or training without being overwhelmed by the other issues in their lives.
“From the moment I signed up, I never felt judged here... I used to be a hermit... But now there is actually emotion in my voice, now I can talk to anyone... And I actually enjoy it! I’m living a life now... Just coming here uplifts my spirits.” Young Devon participant James* (not real name)
Petroc and their delivery partners formed strong links with a variety of support services to meet the extremely diverse characteristics and barriers of participants, some of whom may have actively avoided engagement with organisations perceived as representing authority and the public sector in general.
Some of the highlights of the report include:
- Over 650 'hard to reach' young people who were not in employment, education or training were involved in the project.
- 50% of these young people have since moved into work, education, training or job search.
- The partnership has delivered 18,260 hours of support to young people.
- As well as helping young people take steps into work and education, the project has also helped them engage more broadly with their local communities.
- 100% of partners agreed that, as a result of Petroc's management, they have been able to develop and grow their capacity to support young people.
Dee is one of the many success stories. Dee lives in a rural location in Dartmoor with her young daughter and was very isolated. She suffered abuse growing up and struggled with anxiety. Dee’s mentor from partner Battling On supported her to get help for her mental health, and also to think about the future. Having grown in confidence, worked with a job coach, and undertaken a distance-learning course at Petroc, Dee now aspires to be a social worker and has taken steps to pursue this with the Open University.
You can read more success stories and find out how the project developed in the full report here.
And there’s more great news! Although the project delivery came to an end in mid-2020, Petroc are delighted to have been offered further funding to recommence delivery in 2021 to support more young people at a time when many are in dire need.
For more information about the project, please visit the Empowering Enterprise website.
Petroc has been proud to lead a partnership of organisations who have delivered Empowering Enterprise support across Devon which include Battling On, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Devon Communities Together, Eat That Frog, Groundwork, I Can Do That!, Inspiring Arts, ODILS; WKUK and Young Devon.