Active Plus has five “divisions” each focussing on a different target market.
Within each strand we deliver a range of projects tailored to the aims and objectives of our funders. As a social enterprise we strive to achieve a balanced income from grants, contracts and sales, reinvesting profits into developing our business so that we can support more injured military veterans through our volunteer pathway and on into employment with Active Plus or elsewhere.
Supporting Injured Military Veterans is a cross-cutting theme, and the heart of our business. Our unique delivery model means that unlike many other charities and community interest companies, we are not dependant on grants or donations to fund our work with veterans. Instead we use the skills and experience they gained whilst serving in the armed forces, supporting and developing them to deliver courses that not only generate our income but also prove life-changing for participants and veterans alike.
Active Plus Young People supports young people to engage more effectively with school
Active Plus Works helps unemployed people back into work
Active Plus Active Ageing supports older people to build friendships and become active in their communities
Active Plus Business delivers specialist, motivational and development training for business leaders and their workforce.
Active Plus Health and Wellbeing focusses on lifestyle, condition management and positive mental health
Active Ageing: Active Plus Communities is a Big Lottery funded project that brings together military veterans and older people to create a community buzz, building confidence, connections and community. The four year project started in April 2015 and will support 400 people aged 50 and over in 20 communities across Cornwall. The aim is to get older people more connected in their communities, building confidence and reducing loneliness and isolation
The first six weeks are a mix of activities, information sessions, discussions and learning practical skills like first aid, ending with a celebration event. After that groups continue to meet with their military veteran mentor for up to a year and can develop according to the wishes and needs of the group. We encourage and support all our groups to get involved in their local community whether that is through fundraising, community projects, volunteering or giving feedback to local service providers.
Benefits for participants: Older people who are lonely or isolated will become connected and active in their community. This will increase confidence, promote positive health and wellbeing and prevent accidents in the home, helping older people to be independent for longer.
Benefits for local services: Healthier, happier, safer, more confident and informed older people will reduce demand for local health and social care services. Service providers will have a means to engage constructively with older people to get feedback and insight on their services with a view to improving effectiveness and efficiency of delivery.
Benefits for local communities: Communities will be more cohesive, more informed and will champion the contribution of older people as a key resource for the community as a whole.
Active Ageing: Active Plus Communities Plymouth is a pilot project funded by the Big Lottery Awards for All fund to trial two 6 session courses for over 60s in Plymouth, each run over a six week period.The idea is to test the fit of the project in Plymouth to see if there is a need for a longer programme to tackle loneliness and isolation similar to the Cornwall Active Plus Communities project. The pilot is due to complete in July 2016 with an evaluation that will feed into future developments.
The first course ended on 4th April 2016 with a great presentation event attended by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth and the CEO of Plymouth Community Homes, who have been a fantastic partner in the project. On 11th April the group facilitated a Partner Event attended by a wide range of local organisations. The aim was to explain the Plymouth project so far, provide information about the Cornwall project and consult about the needs and gaps in support for older people in Plymouth. Four people from Falmouth in Cornwall who joined Active Plus Communities Cornwall in June 2015 attended the Plymouth event to talk about the longer term benefits.
Active Plus Works: Across the South West Active Plus is playing an important role in the delivery of a number in a Building Better Opportunities projects, using the skills, experience and expertise of injured military veterans to deliver courses that build confidence, motivation and self-belief, and unlock the potential of the individual participants.
More information on our Building Bridges projects can be found here . . .
Building Better Opportunities brings together investment from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) to help people who are most disadvantaged in the labour market to overcome barriers to participation; promoting social and economic inclusion through training, education and work.
With their complementary aims, bringing Big Lottery and ESF funds together through the Building Better Opportunities Programme means that more people who are disadvantaged in the labour market across England can access the locally developed help and support they need.
The Big Lottery Fund aims to put people in the lead of developing solutions to the challenges in their communities, tackling inequality and promoting sustainable social, economic and environmental inclusion.
Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regeneration. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
With their complementary aims, bringing Big Lottery and ESF funds together through the Building Better Opportunities Programme means that more people who are disadvantaged in the labour market across England can access the locally developed help and support they need. This will vary according to specific local circumstances, but there is strong evidence that in any labour market, people who are out of work or not job ready can become increasingly disadvantaged if they also have additional challenges that impact on their ability to find work.
Exclusion from the labour market can significantly affect health and wellbeing, economic independence and family circumstances. In turn this can impact on people’s confidence and motivation to engage with support services and opportunities that could help them. Building Better Opportunities is therefore not a one size fits all approach but is tailored for communities and individuals.
Active Plus Works : Road to Work is a pilot project, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant that helps military veterans who are also offenders or ex-offenders to get back on track and into work. Delivery is by military veterans for military veterans through Active Plus courses that build confidence and employability in an environment that provides camaraderie, peer support, connections and the opportunity for people to help themselves through helping others.
Road to Work courses run for one session a week over eight weeks, with the aim of building motivation and confidence, transferable skills and employability so that participants have increased prospects of securing and staying in work. Our delivery teams understand the issues and the challenges that participants face and also the difference that Active Plus courses can make.
Through peer support, team-tasks, access to practical information such as disclosure advice, budgeting, first aid and the support available from military charities, participants reignite the skills learned during military service and transfer them to the world of civilian work. They re-build employability skills including communication, teamwork, following instructions, problem solving, negotiating and leadership. Supported by the Active Plus team, participants put their renewed skills and increased motivation to use by developing a project that supports the wider community, helping themselves through helping others.
Additional support with any specific barriers or issues is provided through existing organisations who are already skilled and funded to deliver, so that Road to Work complements rather than duplicates existing activity. Employers and organisations who can provide further training, work experience or volunteering opportunities attend the final course session where the progress and achievements of participants are celebrated and next steps planned.
Initial courses were delivered in Plymouth and Exeter, with more planned for offenders in HMP Guys Marsh, HMP Channings Wood and HMP Dartmoor.
Access to Road to Work is through a range of routes including referrals from prisons, courts, police and probation services; community and voluntary organisations, Jobcentres, health services, military organisations and military charities. People can find out more through Active Plus social media and marketing activities and can self-refer.
To find out more contact:Lucy Richards, Road to Work Project Manager on 07805 619029 email email@example.com
Or call Louise on 01326 567174 email firstname.lastname@example.org