GREAT men get things done

The GREAT Project is launching their GREAT men get things done

The number of people engaged by the GREAT Project has now passed 250 people, with more than 70 successfully moving on to work, training or formal job searching. However, with more than three quarters of GREAT participants being women, the project is looking to recruit more men. That’s why they are launching their ‘GREAT men get things done’ campaign.

Ivan Liburd is the GREAT Project’s Delivery Coordinator and is leading on the campaign to increase the number of men on the project. He said:

“We know there are lots of reasons that men don’t access support. Sometimes it’s about not admitting there’s a problem, or just not feeling comfortable talking about health issues. Many men can also be suspicious that they’ll spend months attending sessions and still have nothing to show for it at the end.

We want men in Leicester and Leicestershire to know that the GREAT Project is different to other services they might have accessed. Our participants leave the project with something practical, whether that’s some new training, job search skills or a job.”

One of the men we’ve helped on the project is Rickin – find out more about his experience with GREAT.

It’s really easy to get involved with the GREAT Project. If you’re an individual who needs support, you can contact us directly on 0116 257 5020 or through our contact form.

You can also text GREAT and your name to 66777 (texts cost your standard network rate). We will call you back and tell you over the phone whether or not you’re eligible for support from GREAT.

If you’re an organisation that works with men who would benefit from the GREAT Project’s support, contact Ivan at ivan.l@greatproject.org.uk.


Overcoming health barriers to get back into work

Rickin ran his own business and mentored in a college until serious illness changed his life significantly. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma and underwent surgery on his brain, leaving him with short term memory loss, poor problem solving, impulsivity and difficulty with concentration.

Rickin referred himself to the project to seek support with finding his way back to employment. He identified a range of barriers including his health, a lack of confidence, lack of job search skills and worrying about how going back to work would affect his benefits.

Once he joined the project, Rickin was able to access support from various GREAT partners. He received one-to-one support and had help managing his sleeping pattern, which he was struggling with. He attended work clubs, where he learned about interview techniques and how to write a CV.

Having previously been a mentor, Rickin has a passion for helping and supporting others. He is now exiting the project onto an Induction to Counselling course, and is confident about his chances of finding work in the near future.

“I recommended the GREAT Project to everyone, because it helped me and it shall help you.”


Build your confidence to get into work and training

As a single parent with two children, Emma had started to feel isolated in her own community. There were a number of barriers that she felt were limiting her from finding work: looking after her family, lack of experience, not knowing how to search for jobs and, most importantly, a lack of confidence.

“My self-confidence was that low, I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to do anything with my time, and when they started me on the GREAT Project it was a point of “’This will do you some good’”

Emma was referred to the GREAT Project by her family support worker. Her original goal was to exit the project into job searching, so that she could secure work in the future. She accessed a range of support services, including Work Clubs and a behind-the-scenes tour at M&S, but possibly the most significant support that Emma accessed was the Total Commitment Training (TCT).

TCT is a three-day programme which helps to build resilience, reflection and relationships. Through various activities and a final activity, participants build self-confidence, improve their focus and develop positive thinking techniques. Emma was originally very anxious about joining in the group activities but she threw herself into the training and ended up enjoying it a lot more than she thought!

“All my shyness is completely gone… I need that confidence to raise my children, I need confidence to be able to go out of the house, school meetings, other meetings… the confidence part goes through all your whole life”

As well as building her skills and confidence, Emma made a lot of friends through the project. One of her friends was registered disabled and supported by a personal assistant from a care company. The PA was leaving the company, so Emma applied for the vacancy. She interviewed successfully and was thrilled to be appointed as the PA for her friend.

Emma’s confidence has soared, and she’s now looking towards the next stage in her career. She was also elected the Liberal Democrat councillor for her area, so she can put her new-found confidence into improving not only her own life and that of her family, but also the lives of those in her local area.

“[I]really enjoyed doing the project. And the experience was amazing. If I could do it again I would.”