Connecting Choices Case Studies

Some of the participants that we have supported to break down barriers

Success and Progression

We work with a number of partners across Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme to support those furthest from the job market to break down barriers and open up opportunities into training, education, volunteering and work.

If you’re a local organisation with opportunities for training, volunteering or work our Engagement Team provides a free skills-matching service of our participants to fulfill your staffing needs. Click here to find out more on our page of employers.

male sat with laptop in library

Jack: “I now have aspirations for the future.”

Jack is a participant on the Connecting Choices programme who moved into the YMCA and wanted to move closer to getting a job in the future. With the help of YMCA North Staffordshire Jack has improved his confidence, learnt new skills, and has now returned to education.
Woman managing finances

Treena: I feel positive about the future

Treena is a participant on the Connecting Choices programme who wanted support with her financial situation. With the help of Ixion Treena now feels in control of her finances and now feels more confident.
Woman receiving Spa therapy

Shelley: I have got my sparkle back

Shelley is a Connecting Choices participant who was experiencing low confidence and poor mental wellbeing. With the help from City of Stoke-on-Trent Council Shelley now feels more confident and has now entered employment.
Man smiling looking at camera

Lewis: I now have a better idea of how to apply for work

Lewis was finding it difficult applying for work due to receiving no responses from job applications. With the help of the Connecting Choices programme and YMCA North Staffordshire Lewis has managed to overcome his barriers and enter full time work.
Woman holding cat in animal shelter

Jess: I am more confident now

Jess was lacking confidence and struggled with time management. With the help of the Connecting Choices programme and partner charity Genius Within Jess now feels ready to return to employment.
Man with laptop sat on sofa smiling

Steven: A steady improvement of my skills

Steven wanted to improve his digital skills and had low confidence. With the help of the Connecting Choices programme Steven had a dedicated digital inclusion tutor to support him to gain the confidence to use technology.
Woman volunteer smiling packing boxes

Stacey: I feel like I could go to work now

Stacey was struggling with her self confidence and could not even do day to day tasks because of being socially isolated. With the support of the Connecting Choices programme and partner charity Genius Within Stacey now feels more confident and positive.
Male nurse pushing wheel chair

Ryan: I feel that the Connecting Choices programme has had a real impact on my life

Ryan is a participant on the Connecting Choices programme who had not been in employment for four years and suffered from low confidence after being made redundant. With the help of the Connecting Choices programme and partner charity 'Achieve Training' Ryan has successfully secured a new career and overcome his barriers of low confidence.
Woman sitting near lake meditating whilst sun is setting

Kylie: An encouraging stepping stone to make life better

Kylie is a participant on the Connecting Choices programme who faced mental health issues and has a fear of men which resulted in low self-esteem and confidence. The Connecting Choices programme has given Kylie the confidence to seek work and progress into a volunteer role.
Man driving forklift truck in warehouse

Joshua: An ex-offender changing his life through lockdown

Just released from prison and with no qualifications, Joshua was finding it difficult to move into employment. Since joining the Connecting Choices programme Joshua has been supported by partner charity Change, Grow, Live where he is on track gaining qualifications and getting ready to start his new career.
Man with fist in the air whilst watching sunrise

Jason: From struggling with anxiety and low skills to a job he loves

Jason faced barriers of homelessness and struggled with his anxiety, confidence and low skills. He found the Connecting Choices programme, where Sonia from partner YMCA saw his potential, identified transferable skills, and boosted his self-belief – now Simon is happy and in a job he loves!
Back of a woman with thumbs up looking at the Sun

Joanna: Anxiety and depression meant my life was on hold

Joanna's life was on hold until she joined the Connecting Choices programme in Stoke-on-Trent, where with support from partner charity YMCA she has built up her confidence, is no longer socially isolated and is actively applying for jobs.
Man walking alone

Darren: From multiple setbacks to feeling hopeful for the future

Darren had not long come out of prison, and facing setbacks was unable to find work impacting his mental health and wellbeing. Darren joined the Connecting Choices programme and is now volunteering and feels more hopeful, motivated, and determined to find employment.
Man staring through window looking out with hand on glass

Simon: from social isolation and depression to a new-found confidence

Simon was on a downward spiral from poor lifestyle choices, facing homelessness and had become withdrawn and depressed. Through attendance of a local Social Hub he was introduced to the Connecting Choices programme and started working with his work coach Alex - and he now values his life, has a newfound confidence and is looking forward to his future!


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