Our Peer Circles project is marking its first year of supporting people with multiple and complex needs to move closer towards employability through addressing wider barriers such as homelessness, substance misuse, offending background and mental health.
Launched in April 2017 and funded by the European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund through the Building Better Opportunities programme, Peer Circles uses our peer-based approach to reach people in need who may not engage with mainstream employment services. It works with people in central and south London at their own pace to help them gain confidence and skills whilst helping them access and engage with any other support services. The overall aim is to help people secure and sustain employment.
There is a specialist women’s service which is tailored to meet their specific needs encompassing a holistic and trauma-informed approach, and taking into account additional factors such as childcare responsibilities, domestic and sexual violence. We are working proactively to increase the number of women enrolled on the project therefore can now take female referrals from across London.
Over the first year, the project has reached almost 300 people. One client on the project commented: “I feel more confident with regards to employability as I have never had a job before.” We are aiming to support more people to progress towards achieving their goals.