What is Positive Progressions?

Positive Progressions is a project which is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The project is being delivered in Selby, Craven, Harrogate, York and the rural villages around these areas.

PositiveProgressionsGraphic2 - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project

What does it do?

The Positive Progressions project wants to work with individuals and families in the community who are economically inactive or unemployed, helping them to overcome barriers and move closer towards employment and training. Some of the services the project can offer include help to:

Put together a CV and look for jobs

Manage finances

Gain more skills and training

Improve health and wellbeing

Take up volunteering and mentoring opportunities

“She is a completely new person these days – in a good way!”

Who can the project help?

The project will help individuals within families who are at risk of being socially isolated from their community. They will receive a tailor made package of one to one support with a dedicated Keyworker. The Keyworker will focus on helping them to increase confidence and resilience, and develop skills that will help them to support themselves and their families. We will work with Intervention Partners to help us provide the most appropriate assistance. Here are some of our partners:

city of york council logo - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project
home start logo - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project
Citizens Advice Logo 1 - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project
NYCC logo 2015 CMYK - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project
yorkcollege - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project

PositiveProgressionsGraphic3 - Positive Progressions - Joining The Project


“See for yourself how Positive Progressions can change lives”

Read what some of our participants had to say about the project:


“When I first met my Keyworker I knew that I needed to build up my resilience and confidence that were really low as a result of being bullied in my last place of work. The first step was one to one tuition in Maths, alongside the Family Learning Maths course and I started to work towards a Level 1 qualification. I really pushed myself to keep attending and eventually I started asking questions in class. It was really challenging when there was a change of tutor, but I kept going.

After meeting with a Women’s Group Outreach Worker, I accessed an Assertiveness and Mindfulness course. This bought up feelings from the past, but really helped as it was such a supportive environment. I now have the strategies in place to manage difficult situations that may arise in relationships at home or in the work place. The support package put together by my Keyworker was really effective and I felt more positive and could now envisage a better future. My mother said ‘I have got my daughter back’.

The volunteering I did and the Maths class really helped me to mix in groups and talk to people.  I sat Maths Level 1 and 4 months later I passed Level 2!   My Keyworker arranged a careers interview with an intervention tutor, and I decided that I would like to work towards Level 1 in an Association of Accounting Technicians qualification (AAT). I passed and with this new confidence, I went on to study and pass Level 2.

I also started a ten-week Employability skills course, which covered things such as: CV’s, resilience, assertiveness, application forms, covering letters, interview skills and job search/ job climate and company ethos. The weekly lesson plans were very flexible and were designed around my needs.  When I attended a Jobs Fair, I was a little overwhelmed at first, but by the end of the day, I became much more confident and even approached the various stalls and asked them questions with ease. My Keyworker was very impressed! I now had the confidence to apply for jobs and I managed to secure a few interviews.  I am so pleased when I was successful in being offered the role of Income Service Officer with the City of York Council. I’m now getting to grips with the role, using my AAT knowledge and settling into being employed again. I can’t believe how much I have achieved!”


“I was a full time parent to my 5 year old and used to spend my days watching TV.   Looking back, I did not feel good about myself and was very negative about everything.  Previously, I was in a bad relationship and my three children had been taken into care.  I am now in a new relationship and have my fourth child with me.  I had not worked for 25 years and as my child was approaching 5, I was in the process of being transferred from Income Support to Universal Credit.  This made me feel very scared as I did not know what to expect. 

I met my Keyworker and she encouraged me to do a Family Learning course.  The one to one meetings allowed me to talk through and clarify my thought processes, and to focus on what was important.  Someone was listening to me and I began to recognise the skills I had.  My Keyworker pointed out that my time keeping and organisational skills were very good and I was reliable.  I started to feel in a better place and good about myself. I made new friends and learnt new things.  I am no longer afraid of walking into new groups, I’m obviously a little apprehensive when not sure what it will be like, but now I will try new things. 

When a friend suggested a 6 hour cleaning job, I jumped at it.  I could not believe it when I secured the position.  The first few shifts were challenging, but I kept at it, and I am now feeling a lot happier.  I am getting quicker and I have worked in all the different areas so feel much more confident.  Colleagues say “Hello” and I feel part of the team!  I know that Positive Progressions helped me to realise I could do a job, but I got this one by myself and I am really proud of this. 

When we had devastating news about my second son, I dealt with it much better than I would have in the past and although it was really difficult, I kept myself going. In the past, things would have just gone out of control – including me.

If I had not joined Positive Progression and the Family Learning courses, I would probably still be at home watching daytime TV, getting very anxious about the Job Centre/job searching and dreading going there.  I feel in a much better place and have a purpose.  In the future, I would like more hours either in my present job or have another part-time job. I would love to have a job in retail and work my way up to supervisor.”


“I had been accessing Family Learning Maths and English courses and had achieved Level 1 English but was struggling with Maths. After failing for a third time I was feeling really low. I am dyslexic, hard of hearing and suffer from anxiety and depression. Due to changes in circumstances I was moved onto Universal Credit and a delay resulted in debts which I found really distressing and had to access food banks. It came to a head when there was a court order over the Council tax bill.

I met my Keyworker at the local Community Café, where I met someone from the Citizens Advice Bureau who gave me benefit and housing advice.  My first goal was to pass Level 1 Maths and we decided that one to one support would be the best way to learn. In December 2017 I achieved Level 1! My next challenge was to learn IT skills and I quickly managed to pick it up and produced a really good CV while gaining more employability skills at the same time. I started to attend the Community Café drop in, baking cakes and volunteering behind the counter.

I applied for a Mid-Day Supervisor job at my boys’ primary school and send off 4 CV’s to local residential homes for care positions. I was not successful for the school job, but did get offered a job at a residential home. I’m feeling apprehensive about starting this job, but my Keyworker has encouraged me to try out the position and then I can make my mind up. I’ve now been offered another interview, and realise that this is my first step into employment and my options are open. I now have the skills that employers want and feel much more confident and more in control of my life. I am confident that I’ll find a job that I really enjoy. 

I’m very grateful to the project, I’ve overcome many barriers and I’m surprised by how much I’ve achieved. I would have loved this level of support earlier! I’ve now got Level 1 in Maths, a really good CV, gained employability and IT skills and I’m getting interviews. I’ve secured a bank support role. I also feel much more involved in my local community and enjoy their Arts and Crafts activities. I can chat with other attendees and know that I can access support with housing, CAB, wellbeing and benefits if and when needed.”


“My partner was already working with a Keyworker and it was at one of their meetings where I saw what the project could offer me. I was keen to get support to help me get into work. The Keyworker said that I was also able to be on the project as I was out of work and living in a house with children. I was living with my partner and supporting her with her two young children as she has health issues. Some days she is unable to leave our home to drop off and collect the children. Other days she feels able to do this but only with my support. In the past, I have been in difficult relationships and lost access to my children, but now that I have support from my partner I feel in a better place and want to make my life better and progress into employment.   

I was keen to get a job to support my partner and children but because of her health issues it would be better if I could find evening work or work that would fit around school times. I am a practical and hard working person and like to be busy and active so couldn’t wait to get a job but up to now wasn’t having any luck. This changed dramatically once I took up the offer of help to work on my CV and interview skills. I had an interview with Primark, Travelodge and Spar Supermarket. I had really good feedback from Primark and Travelodge and even though I didn’t get the jobs, it made me feel more confident.  Spar Supermarket got back to me and offered me a job.  I am so pleased and keen to start and earn a wage as I am soon to be a Dad as my partner is expecting a baby.  I feel confident about the future and want things to be different this time.

At my last meeting we talked about my progress and I was able to see how far I have come. I am not on drugs, I do not drink, I have given up smoking and Social Services have no problems with me as a Stepfather. I feel working on the project has given me a boost in confidence showing me a positive future. Doing a CV showing all of my skills has made me realise that I have something to offer and employers have seen this too.”

How do I refer a participant?

If you are interested in joining the Positive Progressions Project or would like to find out more about it, please contact: 01756 693 306 or email: projects@craven-college.ac.uk