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Continued CommitmentThis successful project helped over 500 people into work by providing intensive one-to-one support to individuals and families who were experiencing significant labour market barriers. The FEI Nurse also assisted over 130 unemployed people with their health needs, many of which were related to mental health and musculoskeletal issues. Project funding has now ended but the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is committed to maintaining services in Bolsover District, and the potential to continue the nurse provision is being explored

Family Employment Initiative Main

Family Employment Initiative


About the project...

The Family Employment Initiative (FEI) works with families and households to break down barriers to employment. FEI advisors visit hard to reach families and individuals in homes and other accessible locations.  Funding from WNF expanded the Bolsover district team from 4.5 to 5.5 Advisers.  A further extension to the project was the provision of a Community Nurse to work as a member of the existing FEI team.  The Nurse accompanied advisers to provide responsive health advice, carry out home based health checks, support families to make better health choices, re-engage people with primary health, and run bespoke sessions on topics that emerged linking improved health to reduced worklessness.

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Family Employment Initiative Contacts


Project Manager

FEI Community Nurse

Amanda Siddle
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust
Unit 4, Markham Vale Environment Centre
Markham Lane
S44 5HY
Tel: 01246 820979
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Sue Dean
NHS Derbyshire County
9 Patchwork Row
NG20 8AL
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Family Employment Initiative website 



Open pdf documentFamily Employment Initiative Final Evaluation May 2011

Open pdf documentRural Advocate Report 2010 featuring Family Employment Initiative

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Family Employment Initiative Case Studies

Names have been changed to protect people's identities.



'Jodie' came to meet with the FEI advisor at a Community House in Bolsover District. The local Community Champion, who is was her neighbour, also attended the initial meeting to support her. The Community Champion, who is also involved with credit union activity, had been supporting 'Jodie' since moving into the area several years ago.

'Jodie' was very open and explained her life experiences and what she hoped to achieve in the future. 'Jodie' has two sons and has raised them as a single mum, both are now grown up and left home.  'Jodie' had previously been in a very abusive and violent relationship, Things came to a head in 2006 when she had a serious car accident.  Her car was written off but miraculously she walked away from it.  From this point forward, 'Jodie' became extremely low and depressed, really struggling with her mental health and self esteem. She spent most days in bed, not bothering to get up, or to get washed and dressed.

Slowly with support from her neighbour 'Jodie' began to rebuild her life; she became more outgoing, had help with budgeting and her finances and began to realise there was more to life than staying in bed.  She began to have more days on the sofa than in bed and started to gain confidence and think about doing something with her life.

'Jodie' had previously had a really good job which she enjoyed, and during this period of her life she was full of confidence, even winning awards for being the top agent in the District.  She was beginning to think about her former life and the prospect of returning to work.  The FEI advisors and 'Jodie' discussed several ways in which FEI could support 'Jodie' and enable her to find work.

Firstly, a CV was discussed and put together along with exploring the types of work 'Jodie' would like to do.  She loved helping people and identified that she would like to work in a care or support role so volunteering was suggested for a few hours a week. She had never considered this and the FEI advisors explained that it would be a brilliant way to get some recent work experience and a reference.  'Jodie' was very interested and a meeting was set up for the following week with CVP. 

'Jodie' was worried that she would be worse off by going to work, and we established that she could have a better off calculation done at the Job Centre or approach Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre. She decided on the latter, and the Community Champion agreed to accompany her. The outcome was that she would be better off by a small amount each week. When 'Jodie' left after that initial meeting, she was beaming with enthusiasm and excitement about her future prospects. 

CVP came to the second meeting the following week and explained the benefits of volunteering.  A local Resource Centre was suggested as a good start and 'Jodie' agreed as it was within walking distance of her home.  She completed the relevant paperwork and a meeting was to be set up with the Volunteer Coordinator.

In the meantime, CVP were delivering an Introduction to Care course, consisting of Food Safety, Health and Safety and First Aid. 'Jodie' decided she would benefit from attending this and enrolled with a friend. The FEI advisor supported 'Jodie' to complete a CV for her. 'Jodie' was very proud of the CV and showed her sons.

After her interview for the volunteer placement, she was offered two sessions a week as a volunteer.  She settled in straight away. 'Jodie' said that on her first day, she was desperate for someone to stop her and ask where she was going so she could tell them “TO WORK!”  She explained to her FEI advisors that even though it was unpaid, she felt so very proud walking down the hill, and at how far she had come in such a short space of time.

'Jodie' was assisting elderly residents on and off the bus at the Centre, checking bingo numbers, assisting with drinks and meals and generally anything else she was asked to do.  She loves her volunteer place and will consider applying for paid employment when her confidence levels have increased. 'Jodie' also went on to complete the Introduction to Care course and is currently awaiting her certificates. 


Mr G

Mr G was referred to FEI by our community nurse; He had to leave his last place of employment due to ill health, but progressed with the support of the FEI community nurse to feeling more stable with his health and able to put in place measures to minimise the effect his health condition had on his day to day life. Mr G felt ready to start looking for work.

The FEI advisor produced a development plan with Mr G setting small achievable goals each week. This provided Mr G with something to focus on preparing him for work and increasing his confidence as each goal was met.

The FEI advisor carried out numerous sessions around CV building and job search.  Opportunities on line were explored matching Mr Gs transferable skills and interests. Mr G decided that he would prefer to look at volunteering options to help him get back into a routine and help to build up his confidence as well as gaining some valuable work experience.

Through looking at various volunteering websites, Mr G decided to apply for 2 placements; one in retail for a local charity shop and one in administration for the local (CAB) Citizens Advice Bureau.  Mr G was successful in gaining both placements and is currently working 1 day a week at each of these, and is enjoying both immensely.  Mr G commented that he is now backing in a routine and feels that his health has improved and his confidence levels are increasing daily. The FEI advisors are now supporting MR G to start looking for paid employment.



‘Josh’ signed up with FEI on 8 September 2010 and was supported by FEI for just over a year. He was referred to FEI by Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce via the e2e programme.

‘Josh’ was 17 years old and as he did not have any direct paid work experience, he was anxious about how he could put together a suitable CV.  The FEI advisor was able to boost his confidence and identify his transferable skills through relevant life and work experience, such as his voluntary work placements, two periods of work experience and his job as a paper boy two years previously which lasted for a year.  All this information, though undervalued by ‘Josh’, demonstrated his commitment to follow through any task that was set along with his reliability and desire to work.

To further enhance the CV and to support ‘Josh’ in his choice of vocation he was referred to Critical Skills to undertake SIA training.  After training he subsequently passed the exam to gain his HABC Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (QCF).

With continued further support through job search and interview techniques as well as the completion of application forms, ‘Josh’ was invited to attend an interview at a local company. ‘Josh’ was successfully appointed and his self esteem has dramatically improved as a result.




'Jordan' signed up with FEI on 11 January 2011.  He had been made redundant from his previous job and felt very disillusioned as well as his confidence being affected by the way in which he lost his job.

'Jordan' had gained most of his experience in retail as a shop assistant and, after progressing, as a duty manager. Due to his experiences in the retail sector he expressed an interest in exploring many different options, one of which was in the care sector.

'Jordan' was referred to the Raising Aspirations programme to build his confidence.  In addition he was referred onto the Care Gateway organised through BETI to allow him to explore alternative career options.  The advisor and client compiled CVs together and 'Jordan' began to actively job search.  He successfully completed a Food Safety Certificate and the Moving and Handling Certificate through BETI and has commented on how much he enjoyed the courses.

Over the following few weeks 'Jordan' became noticeably more vibrant and positive about his possibilities in the job field. He was able to change his focus from the negative experiences of being made redundant in his last post and was able to look to the future.

This positivity and willingness to change career direction enabled the advisor and 'Jordan' to work together to consider a wide variety of vacancies.

'Jordan' was invited to interviews and on 27 June he began working full time at a local “Pest and Reptile “store.

'James' succeeds with Groundwork


'James' was referred by the FEI Community Nurse to help with his transition into employment.  He was seeing the FEI Community Nurse due to on going physical health issues which the Nurse had began to address with him.

When the FEI Community Employment Advisor (CEA ) first met 'James' he had very low self esteem and lacked confidence.  For his first four meetings his mother attended with him, he was encouraged to come on his own, and it was explained to his mother this would improve his confidence.

Slowly over the next three months he became very comfortable seeing the CEA and opened up to his future plans.  On top of his list was to gain employment, preferably in the catering industry, as this was where his passion lay.  Together with the CEA a CV and covering letter was compiled. Although he had not had any paid employment he did take part in a six month work placement with Derbyshire Chamber in a café to give him hands on experience.  'James' ran many job searches, and when he visited the CEA he always had something to apply for, and through his determination and support with completing application forms from FEI, he started to be invited for interviews.  As 'James' did not have any suitable interview clothes, FEI paid for a pair of shoes, a smart shirt and a pair of trousers.  For each interview the CEA ran through what he needed to do in terms of his appearance i.e. wash and iron his interview clothes, bath or shower, make sure his nails were clean etc. which in turn this improved his overall self esteem.

Although he was not successful with any of his interviews, he was not deterred and the CEA continued to support 'James' to search for a suitable position.  The CEA encouraged 'James' to look at applying for an apprenticeship and supported him to complete the forms for Chesterfield College apprenticeship programme. In addition the CEA supported 'James' with the completion of two applications for an apprentice warehouse person and a catering assistant through Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme. Whilst this did not result in a suitable apprenticeship 'James' could see the advantages to an apprenticeship.

Finally the CEA supported 'James' with the completion of an application form for a six month paid position as a catering assistant through Groundwork Creswell. 

He was invited to interview with Groundwork and was successful.  He was delighted and could not wait to start.  He said he could not have gotten this far and secured a paid position without the support of FEI.

Three clients who care!

Three clients all looking for care work registered with FEI in November 2010.  All had been on Job Seekers Allowance for more than 12 months and were referred to the FEI Team by Jobcentre Plus.    

'Jackie' is a lone parent and as her youngest daughter had started full time school, she had decided the time was right for her to go back to work.  She had previously had a bad experience with an employer and was anxious about finding another job.

'Jacob' had formerly been employed as a miner, then in the construction industry.  He was at the end of his tether after being made redundant time after time.  One of the FEI advisors met him in the Jobcentre and told him about FEI.  He registered with FEI and discussed where he wanted his career to go; he explained that he had always wanted to work in care.  A CV was created and a mail shot sent to selected care homes and he immediately began to get phone calls from care homes saying they would keep his details on file. After job searching, it became apparent that it would benefit 'Jacob' to gain his food hygiene certificate which was funded at a cost of approximately £50.  He was invited to interview at a care home and was offered the job!  Sadly the employer was very slow in sending off his Criminal Records Bureau check and requesting references so 'Jacob' began to lose hope. 

'Jeanette' had been out of work for a considerable length of time running into several years.  She too wanted to work in care. Her CV was created  and she went away with a list of care homes that she would like to work in.  A big factor to take into account was the public transport network as, ideally, she wanted to stay locally.

In the meantime, one of the Community Employment Advisors for the Bolsover FEI supplied information about three openings at a local care home which she had heard of from a family member.  They were looking for good quality care staff and suggested any suitable clients phone up.  All three clients were contacted and rang the care home straight away.  Support was offered in relation to interview techniques and after a few days, all three had been offered jobs!

FEI were able to pay for CRB checks for two of the clients, one of them was reluctant to accept financial assitance, despite being eligible and paid £45 for the CRB out of their own funds.

The employer was very happy and expressed that they would appraoch FEI for their future recruitment needs.






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Family Employment Initiative Outputs


Outputs 08/09

Unemployed people gaining employment

111 223 176 132  652

16-18 year olds supported

2 21 21 18  62

Working age population (16 years+) achieving an NVQ  Level 2 or equivalent

  13 4 19

People on out of work benefits supported with their health needs

  14 60 65 139

Carers receiving a health assessment

  2 6 4 12
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Family Employment Initiative Archive


2011/12 Year End

Good progress has been made against the majority of targets with the number of unemployed people gaining employment being exceeded.

Clients have been encouraged to consider different types of jobs when seeking employment to improve their chances of gaining work and widening opportunities available to them. Clients’ awareness of their own transferable skills is an area for further intervention and advisors continue to emphasise this during one to one meetings and groups sessions. Regular meetings continue to take place with Jobcentre Plus to consider any gaps and possible packages of support that may be required in the future. Links between the two Jobcentre Plus partnership managers covering Chesterfield and Bolsover continue to strengthen and this has enabled a more planned approach when considering upcoming developments, job vacancies, local labour market trends and up skilling of clients.  Since November 2011, two FEI advisors have been attending the Bolsover C of E Junior School on a weekly basis and working in partnership with the Bolsover MAT team.  The Bolsover Job Surf continues to be successful. 

Due to the downsizing of East Midlands FEI, the team has reduced in size and three Community Employment Advisors now cover the Bolsover district.  The Coalfields Regeneration Trust are committed to maintaining services within Bolsover, however additional funding needs to be sought to maintain existing provision. 

The Community Nurse funded through the LSP’s WNF allocation has now ceased and funding/links with Clinical Commissioning Groups are being explored. 

2011/12 Quarter 3

Family Employment Initiative (FEI) continues to attend meetings with the Work Programme primes contractors.  A review and proposal for the future of FEI will be discussed with Bolsover District Council in Feb/Mar 2012.

Good progress is being made against targets.  The number of beneficiaries engaged in the programme is lower as more referrals are being made to the Work Progamme. However, because FEI now supports higher numbers on Job Seekers Allowance, it is easier to move these clients into employment, hence the jobs outcome target being on track.  The project has reported that good working relationships with Jobcentre Plus continues which has enabled a more planned approach when considering developments, job vacancies and the local labour market. The Bolsover work club continues to be very successful with many of the referrals coming from Jobcentre Plus.

Community Nurse

The Community Nurse strand of this project currently comes to an end in March 2012 so referrals have now ceased and the nurse is focusing her work on existing clients in the last quarter.  Discussions are taking place with health to establish what provision is needed in the future and a commissioning brief for other funding is currently being considered.

2011/12 Quarter 2

A review of priority groups has been undertaken to take account of Work Programme client groups. This review has resulted in the project now focusing support on Pre Work Programme clients who are claiming benefits. The introduction of the Jobcentre Plus Flexible Support Fund has meant that FEI’s Back to Work Fund is now not being utilised as much as before, due to it being a fund of last resort.

The project has reported that closer links have been established this quarter with Jobcentre Plus’s partnership manager in Bolsover with the aim of working more closely when considering the local labour market and up skilling of clients.

Both the Shirebrook and Bolsover Work Clubs have a good base of regular attendees averaging 8-15 clients with some registering with CVP for volunteering opportunities. In Creswell clients continue to access the Limestone House IT programme and the number of referrals from family/friends continues to increase.

Community Nurse

The Community Nurse has continued to work closely with the Disability Partnership over this quarter. Overall there has been a reduction in referrals received from the Jobcentre with the majority of referrals being clients who have mental health and/or musculoskeletal problems. Referrals from FEI staff have increased during Quarter 2.  There have been safeguarding issues with both children and adults during this quarter.

2011/12 Quarter 1

The main office moved to the Coalfield Regenerational Trust regional office at Markham Vale Environmental Centre on 1st July. An outreach base remains at Patchwork Row in Shirebrook and additional outreach bases have been sourced at Clowne College, Peartree Community House and the Adult Education Centre in Shirebrook. Coverage has also been expanded into Clowne North, Whitwell and Scarcliffe.

Two new work clubs have been set up in Shirebrook in Q1 with all Family Emplyment Initiatives (FEI) workclubs being branded FEI “job surfs”.  One work club has been set up at the Adult Education centre and runs every Wednesday morning with 12 clients in the 2nd week.  The 2nd work club is at Pear Tree Community House and runs every Thursday morning as part of the six month pilot “one stop shop” on the housing estate and this work club is being run jointly with Bolsover CVP and the Financial Inclusion project. The house is being used by many services  e.g. CVP,  Framework housing association, Safer neighbourhoods team, local constabulary, Youth workers, Children centres . It is co-ordinated by a Health Improvement worker who works for Bolsover Neighbourhoods team, NHS Derbyshire County. The work club at Bolsover Methodist Church every Tuesday from 11am-1pm continues to attract increasing numbers of clients and is regularly attended by about 8 -10 people each week with 14 people attending in June. This is due to the very informal setting, easy access and the support of both FEI advisors and the staff and volunteers at the church.  Support is available from two advisors with searching different internet sites, online applications, attaching a CV and general support around preparing for an interview. Also clients freely talk to each other about any vacancies they have seen (if they do not want to apply themselves), which encourages interaction and peer support.

Community FEI nurse

The nurse held 55 client appointments although numbers of referrals from JCP has dropped over the last few months.

FEI and the community nurse ran a stall at Shirebrook market and the nurse began to attend the Bolsover “Job surf “FEI work club in June. This has resulted in supporting two people at the workclub. The nurse continues to network to raise the profile of the service attending 9 multi-agency forums this quarter. The WNF commissioned Disability Partnership Project has provided an opportunity for the nurse to become involved in building the awareness of disability and link up with the lobbying to ensure future provision for disabled people in the area.

2010/11 Year End

The FEI has been instrumental over the last year in supporting people into employment, often providing the link across different initiatives within the district. During 2010/11 174 people gained employment against a target of 191 (92% of target achieved).  This is against a backdrop of a very difficult time for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust due to uncertainly over future funding as well as the current economic climate.

Although WNF support has now come to an end for the FEI team, additional funding through Bolsover District Council has been secured for a further year to March 2012.  This will allow the FEI team to align with the new Work Programme provision during this transitional period.

During 2010/11 approximately 130 clients were referred to the FEI Nurse. The majority of clients referred have complex needs and as such are a long way from the job market. The launch of the WNF commissioned Disability partnership project has provided an opportunity for the nurse to become involved in building the awareness of disability and link up with the lobbying to ensure future provision for disabled people in the Bolsover district. The Nurse will continue to be supported by WNF during 2011/12 with some additional funding secured through Healthy Bolsover.

2010/11 Quarter 3
The project has reported that staff sickness, bad weather and quiet period leading up to Christmas has impacted on outputs overall in Quarter 3.  The Work Club held at Bolsover Methodist church is proving to be very successful with an average attendance of between six and nine people. A work club in Shirebrook is currently being explored with the Financial Inclusion Manager.  The FEI Team has a Bolsver District Council Apprentice who is proving to be a real asset to the team.

Approx 130 clients have been referred to the community nurse since the project began. The majority of the clients have complex needs and as such are a long way from the job market.

NOCN level 2 employability awards are now being offered to clients and workshops are being organised for the New Year to support clients with portfolio building and to meet the learning hours required for the units.

2010/11 Quarter 2
The project manager has reported that the recession is making it increasingly challenging to move people into employment.  This, coupled with staff sickness and term time leave, has resulted in a waiting list for clients and outputs that are under target for Quarter 2.

A work club has been set up at Bolsover Methodist Church and will be available every Tuesday from 10am-2pm. Credit Union will also be based at the venue and links have been made to jointly promote the services to clients.  The Flexible New Deal provision that commenced October 2009 appears to be impacting upon Coalfields Regeneration Trust engagements and links have been made to clarify and formalise partnership arrangements.

The Community Nurse continues to see increasing numbers of referrals, particularly from Jobcentre Plus, with health problems predominantly relating to depression, anxiety and stress.
2010/11 Quarter 1
Outputs in Quarter 1 are slightly down against target and the project manager has reported that referrals continue to cause concern particularly in the Shirebrook area, although Creswell has seen an increase following the FEI Bolsover Extravaganza event in April.  Work is taking place across all areas through events, publicity, leaflets drops and partnership working to raise the profile of FEI. The Flexible New Deal provision that started up in October 2009 appears to be impacting upon Coalfields Regeneration Trust engagements and links are to be established with Flexible New Deal contract holders in Derbyshire. The Community Nurse has undertaken extensive networking and has been working closely with advisors with referrals increasing steadily.
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