Health and employment outcomes going from strength to strength in a project funded by HMR CCG’s Social Investment Fund.

Since April 2014 Groundwork were funded by HMR CCG’s Social Investment Fund to embed psychotherapy services within delivery of the Work Programme in Rochdale.

The project – called ‘Back on Track’ –tested whether one-to-one psychological therapy co-located within a mainstream employment programme could allow sufficient recovery that finding a job was a realistic prospect for long term ESA claimants with moderate to severe mental health conditions.

In 2014/15 the project reached its target of five people finding employment. In recent weeks a further five beneficiaries that completed the project have been supported into paid work by Groundwork caseworkers.

Tina Hampson, Local Employment Projects Manager, commented “this project has been life changing for some of the most disadvantaged benefit claimants in Rochdale and demonstrates how small investments can have a big impact. In addition to the job entries weekly wellbeing analysis is showing improving WEMWBS scores for 60 per cent of participants. This is also reflected in the improving IAPT outcome measures recorded during every intervention, for example 72 per cent of beneficiaries significantly reduced their clinical symptoms of depression.”

One participant commented: “I have gained more confidence and feel in control of my mood. I have my life back.”

For more information about the project, contact Rob Glenn

on 0161 624 1444 or email

Creating community spaces in Coldhurst

A fly-tipping hotspot in Coldhurst has been transformed into vibrant community hub for children to enjoy thanks to youngsters and housing association Contour Homes.

A consultation was held at St Hilda’s Primary in March, where students of the school’s eco council pitched three design plans for the new-look alley to local residents. Around 50 tenants attended and voted on proposals for a new painted games area, benches and equipment for planting.

Contour Homes, part of Symphony Housing Group, provided funding for the games area and donated the planters, and Oldham Borough Council cleared the alley.

The new area was unveiled to residents last week and tenants came together for a special event packed with family fun to celebrate. Those attending got to try their hand at planting vegetables and sample henna art, while children were treated to face-painting and got to try out the new painted games area, taking…

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Promoting wellbeing to all

Groundwork’s focus on changing people’s lives runs far beyond the outcomes we are required to deliver by our funders. At the heart of everything we do is helping people develop skills and positive behaviours that they can take forward for the rest of their life – sustainable development on an individual basis!

We’ve come to recognise that some of the biggest challenges people face in life can be overcome by addressing health and wellbeing issues first. Through our courses, programmes and projects we have inter-weaved elements of health and wellbeing to raise awareness and embed positive behaviours.

More recently we have been promoting many of the resources, tools and local services we use with our beneficiaries to Groundwork staff. Groundwork has an important role to play not just on the people we support but also the people doing the supporting. A more happy and healthy workforce, with knowledge of wellbeing, is better able to inspire others to adopt positive changes in their own life.

This blog post brings together some of the health and wellbeing resources, tools and local services we have been linking in with at Groundwork.

5 ways to wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

  • Connect – Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
  • Be active – You don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find the activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
  • Take notice – Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
  • Keep learning – Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence.
  • Give – Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Look out, as well as in.

If you approach them with an open mind and try them out, you can judge the results yourself. More information can be found on the New Economics Foundation (NEF) website or the NHS Choices website.

Rochdale even has its own Five Ways to Wellbeing website where you can measure your wellbeing in 2 minutes and get ideas for improving in the areas listed above.

Local wellbeing links

Groundwork has lots of links to local wellbeing services and partners across Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale. Here are some of them…

We are working closely with the Healthy Minds team and make referrals to them for mental health support 1:1 and group sessions. The service is open to over the age of 16 years and registered with a GP in Bury, Oldham, Tameside and Glossop, Stockport or Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale.

BEATS is an exercise referral scheme for people with a recurring illness or medical condition who would benefit from a personal exercise programme. It is a partnership between NHS Bury and Bury Leisure.

Bury NHS Health Trainers – offers local people support in a number of areas affecting their health including eating healthily, becoming active, improving their quality of sleep, breastfeeding, managing a long-term condition, stopping smoking and drinking sensibly.

I Will If You Will is a movement to get the women and girls of Bury moving. Funded by Sport England and launched by Bury Council, this initiative is about women getting together and trying something new.

We live in an area with outstanding public spaces and green corridors. Why not discover more about the free outdoor spaces on your doorstep. Check out what’s on offer in Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale.

Living Well Rochdale is a community health initiative that helps people with oral health, stopping smoking, exercise and much more. The service is free and open to anyone living in Heywood, Middleton or Rochdale.

If you live in Oldham and want to grow your own food then visit the Get Oldham Growing blog. As well as hints and tips to get growing at home there’s also a map of local food growing initiatives where anyone can get involved.

If online is your thing then register with Learn My Way, complete the Digital Health survey and stay healthy by using the NHS Choices website.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust runs an excellent Expert Patients Programme (EPP) – a free 7 week programme for people with a long term condition. They also run a diverse volunteering scheme with activities such as befriending, excursions, talking, walking, sports and gardening.

If you’re looking to volunteer be sure to check out the national volunteer database. It lists local volunteer opportunities and you can filter them depending on what you’re looking for.

If you know of a local service or project to help improve health and wellbeing then comment below or contact us via our website.

Feedback from Dr Kershaw’s Hospice

Just had some lovely feedback which I received today from Barry at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice

Hi Vicki,

Just a few words to say what a great job your Prince’s Trust volunteers have done at the Hospice over the past couple of weeks.

They were brilliantly led by Adam and his colleagues and completed each project/task with enthusiasm. Their tasks included re-staining our shed, raised beds and benches with a fair amount of prep work first. This included clearing the beds of flowers and plants, which drew their comment of ‘it’s the first job we’ve done that looks worse when we’ve finished than when we started’. I understand what that meant, but now the beds are ready for day patients to set vegetable seeds and plants in.

They also cleared and weeded block paving and other paths, which has made a noticeable difference to our Sensory Garden, regularly enjoyed by patients.

Another area they have made a big difference to is our new Memory Garden. This is currently being developed and they have given it a really good start by bedding memory stones into a prepared bank ready for the planting to be done.

The team seemed to have enjoyed every minute with us. They were always polite, responsive and willing. A real credit to Groundwork and themselves. I hope, and believe, they got as much from the experience as we did from their efforts.

I wish them all well for the future and thank them for choosing Dr Kershaw’s Hospice as the beneficiary of the Prince’s Trust team’s project.

Kind regards


Barry Ulyatt

Hospice Services Manager

Dr Kershaw’s Hospice

Check out our website for more details on the Groundwork Prince’s Trust Team programme.

Cost Benefit Analysis of Groundwork impact

Rob1An important part of demonstrating our value to funders, partners and potential customers is measuring our achievements and analysing the impact of our work. We have traditionally captured both quantitative and qualitative data for each project and programme as well as annually through our project performance measures that we report to Department for Communities and Local Government.

Using this data we are able to assess the value and benefits of Groundwork to our various stakeholders. We have previously worked with CLES and Sheffield Hallam University to quantify the value and benefits of activities undertaken by our collective federation of Groundwork Trusts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

More recently however we have been exploring the use of a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) model developed by New Economy with assistance from the Technical Advisory Group – a joint group of analysts from Central Government and GM. New Economy have developed and continue to refine a CBA model that can identify the fiscal, economic, and social value of project outcomes, and specify which public agency sees this benefit. I benefitted from the excellent New Economy training last year and thought it provided real insight into how commissioners can assess the potential cost savings of delivering services in different ways.

“Across Greater Manchester the public sector is piloting new and innovative ways of working. New Economy, with support from central government, is helping to demonstrate the amount of taxpayers’ money that can be saved by these new ways of working and the impact they can have on the quality of services enjoyed by Greater Manchester residents.” New Economy website

As part of the CBA model, New Economy has also compiled a Unit Cost Database. This database can be used by organisations to calculate the potential cost savings of programmes to areas such as crime, education & skills, employment & economy, fire, health, housing and social services.

We recently used these resources to calculate the benefits of our Back on Track project in Rochdale. The NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG funded project offers mental health support within Groundwork’s mainstream DWP Work Programme to help long term unemployed ESA claimants move towards employment.

From a £25k investment from the HMR CCG, the fiscal benefits can be calculated as:

  • To October 2014, £6.6k from an ESA claimant entering work, £14.7k in 2014/15, and a predicted £68k in 2015/16
  • To October 2014, £22,9k from diverting adults away from mainstream mental health service provision, £38.2k in 2014/15, and a predicted £57.4k in 2015/16.

We are increasingly aware of the tools to measure cost-benefit analysis and social value of our programmes, using such calculations to identify invest-to-save models for local commissioners. The more third sector organisations are able to demonstrate the true value of their delivery,  the more commissioners will be able to see that we can deliver more ‘bang for your buck’.

Robert Glenn, Work & Employability Manager

A time to reflect

As we come to the end of another 12 months of delivery, this is a good time to reflect on the achievements, challenges and impacts we have had as a Trust to people’s lives and the places where they live in 2014/15.
Our first big achievement is that we have successfully delivered what we set out to deliver between April 2014 and the end of March 2015. This achievement is not to be underestimated. Like many other charities we are constantly challenged by the difficult operating environment, which has become more acute in recent times with the Governments austerity measures. That said, our staff have been innovative, creative, courageous and bold in meeting these challenges head on.
Other highlights for the last 12 months:
  • Secured over £3.6m of funding which was locked into the local economies of Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale for the delivery of our charitable work in changing lives, changing places
  • We have for the first time started to deliver Traineeships
  • We are continuing to renovate long term empty properties in Rochdale for local people to live in. The teams that renovate these properties are local unemployed residents that through this programme are given the chance to get work experience and qualifications to go on and gain sustained employment
  • We ran 27 Prince’s Trust Teams over the year across Bolton, Bury Oldham and Rochdale – positively supporting over 300 16-25 year olds
  • In Oldham we are working with the Council’s Public Health team to stimulate and nurture local food growing initiatives through our Growth Ambassadors programme
  • In the last 12 months we will have worked with over 350 NEET young people and helped a large majority of these into a positive progression
  • Through our Energyworks team we have supported homes that are in fuel poverty by working with the families around debt, benefit and behaviour change advice but by also improving the fabric of their homes
  • Our Work Programme teams in Bury and Rochdale continue to help long term unemployed people back into work – through this contract and other local employment programmes we helped 1,542 people gain employment
  • Through our accredited training provision 593 qualifications were gained by our learners
  • We maintained or improved over 30 football pitches worth of open space (129,000m2)

As we put the finishing touches to our business plan for 2015-16 (to be launched in April), I just want to take this opportunity to thank all Groundwork staff for their continued and unwavering efforts in really making a difference on the ground.

As one partner put it in our recent stakeholder survey; “[Groundwork has] excellent delivery teams, who are committed to delivering services that benefit local people.”

I couldn’t have it better myself!

Teresa Jennings, Operations Director

Clean and Grow event

On Saturday 14th March, over 50 people got together to support the Clean & Grow event in Failsworth organised by (Get Oldham Growing) Growing Ambassador, Cherryl Brock. The event was a huge success, bringing together local residents and businesses for a day of community action.

The land on Oldham Road near Failsworth Quay got a good spruce up ready for spring. Event attendees got stuck-in to a community litter-pick, bulb planting and path clearance.

Bulb planting

Event attendee at work

Litter pickers

Clean & Grow event attendees

Big thanks go to all the people who attended and helped on the day. Special mentions go to:

  • The Co-operative Travel who donated two staff members and balloons for the event
  • KFC for donating a staff member and lunches for event attendees
  • The Wholesome Cafe who donated an outdoor cafe at the event

If you would like to get involved in future events or find out more about local food growing projects in Oldham please sign…

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