Delivery Partner Interview: Groundwork CLM

Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent is led by GMCVO, but it is our Delivery Partners that work directly with our hidden young people, through full time or part time Talent Coaches. The benefit of this model is that each organisation works in a different way – a necessary given the regional diversity of Greater Manchester.

To highlight the range of approaches of our Delivery Partners, we have asked them a series of questions to put the spotlight on the excellent work they do on a local level.

Find out more about all of our Delivery Partners here but today, we talk to...

Groundwork CLM

Area you are the partner for: Wigan

Date the organisation was founded: 1983

Number of staff: 86

Ethos: Changing places, changing lives

Describe your Talent Coach in three words: Caring, experienced and compassionate

Why should we visit your offices: To experience the culture of being in a caring and nurturing environment


Who are you as an organisation, and what is it that you do?

Groundwork is both a charitable trust and a social enterprise that has been working to build more sustainable communities since 1985. We do this by helping people and organisations to create better neighbourhoods, to build their skills and job prospects, and to live and work in a greener way.

Our vision is of a society of sustainable communities which are vibrant, healthy and safe, which respect the local and global environmental and where individual and enterprises prosper. We aim to:

  • Improve people’s prospects by increasing the confidence, skills, well-being and employability of those furthest removed from, in particular young people.

  • Create better places by helping people work together to make their surroundings greener, safer and healthier and get involved in the way decisions are made.

  • Promote greener living and working by helping people learn more about their environmental impact and act responsibly to reduce natural resource use.

Our values:

  • We provide leadership and positive energy focused on helping communities to develop solutions.

  • We take a person-centred approach that delivers compassionate support to those members of our community in need of our help.

  • We are knowledgeable in our field of expertise and use our creativity to develop new and innovative approaches to tackling difficult community problems.

  • We are driven to make a difference to our communities – we affect genuine change – and we can demonstrate the impact of our work.

  • We demonstrate the highest levels of integrity within our work – striving to build genuine partnerships that are committed to places for the long term.

  • We are professional in our performance – hard-working, efficient and effective – ensuring all of our resources are used to maximise the impact of our work.

Why did you want to be part of GM’s Hidden Talent?

Groundwork has a long track record of working with NEET young people who have low aspirations and limited career opportunities.  This programme is complementary to our Employment and Skills provision which includes a range of personal development programmes targeted at this cohort.  Our vision and mission for Employment and Skills is to provide a supportive, enjoyable, disciplined and quality focused programme and that promotes resilience and lifelong learning.  The ethos of the Hidden Talent programme is aligned to our principles and values.  It promotes young people with the necessary tools to progress in life.

How do you recruit hidden young people?

Social media, other projects within Groundwork, word of mouth. Through referrals from our partner agencies.

Is there a typical life situation your hidden young people find themselves in?

There are various reason why young people are hidden within the system.  Our young people believe there is a stigma regarding claiming benefits, other young people don’t understand the process.  A number of young people don’t have the right identification, such as birth certificate, passport, drivers licence and national insurance number.  A few of the young people are being claimed for by their parents and they fear that if they claim Universal Credit then other benefits will be lost.  The Job Centre can be an intimidating place for young people as they don’t know what questions they will be asked and don’t know what to say when asked questions.

Why, in your experience, do hidden young people not claim benefits?

Lack of awareness of what they are entitled too, pride, reliance on their parents and working on the black market.

Why do you think the Talent Coach model is the best model of support for the programme?

It is tried and tested that intensive one to one support can provide young people with the encouragement they need.  Mentoring and coaching is highly effective and can be tailored to their needs.  The support is consistent and time-bound so this helps provide structure for the young person.  Often young people have limited access to inspirational role models or someone to look up to.  This programme provides consistency and the right level of support at the right time.

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