A Final Look- Celebrating The Impact of RISE

A Final Look- Celebrating The Impact of RISE


At the end of April, delivery officially finished for our yearlong RISE programme, a programme headed by a partnership of 21 community-based organisations across York and North Yorkshire, and led by Better Connect.

Lately, we’ve spoken a lot about qualitative impact- of the lives the programme has supported and, in some cases, transformed. We’ve written about Luke’s journey, met and facilitated a group discussion with UFY’s participants, and across the year, created two short films featuring Nathan and Kate, exploring the impact support has had on their lives – support which has translated into confidence, employment, and improved mental health.

*You can watch Kate’s story with York Learning and the Marketing Optimist here & Nathan’s with Autism Plus and Inspired Youth, here.*

Our case studies speak for themselves, offering a window into the awe-inspiring support offered by our Keyworkers and Intervention partners- but as does the RISE data. Since project launch, our partnership has supported a total of 427 (of a targeted 359) individuals, and overperformed on almost all targets.

Here’s a snapshot of our impact in numbers:


  • 77 of a targeted 23 participants have entered employment
  • 88 of a targeted 27 participants have gained ‘basic skills’ qualifications (Maths, English, ESOL & IT)
  • 185 of a targeted 94 participants are job-searching following support
  • 45% of participants saw an improvement in their mental health compared with the beginning of the project


For a broader look at RISE’s impact, download our impact report. 


For a relatively small scale programme compared to it’s predecessor ATI, the reverberations have been massive, for Keyworkers too, with the introduction of our Peer Support Network – the first of it’s kind for our programmes.

Looking to the future, we’re excited to continue supporting people through our Rise2Thrive partnership, an employability programme which combines our RISE and Thriving at Work programme models, and are making a commitment to capturing more impactful stories like April’s, with Beyond Housing Keyworker, Kevin:


‘’April had been struggling with her confidence for many years, down to lack of work history, workplace experience and a struggle with mental health. She had tried a few different approaches to find employment but ultimately was unsuccessful. 

We started with working on her confidence, with April attending art therapy sessions on a weekly basis and working with the Energy Doctor to see if they can make any savings on her energy bills. Giving April more time to spend on building her self-confidence and working on her mental health barriers. We also completed a benefit calculation, and updated her C.V. This coupled with our weekly meetings would eventually give her the confidence to start looking for jobs. Once April had started applying for roles, we then moved to the next step of interview preparations – company research and mock interview sessions. These sessions would not only increase April’s confidence, but they would also improve her I.T skills.

April was offered to attend a job interview for a local care organisation. This was April’s first interview for around 10 years, and she was nervous to begin with. So, in preparation we completed another mock interview the day before – which help settle her nerves for the interview (which was two hours of tests and role play) leaving lasting impression on the company, as she was successful and started her induction the week after the interview.’’


Keep an eye out for upcoming case studies and updates on Rise2Thrive, SHINE & Multiply by following us on our socials! 

Laura Sandiford

Post by Laura Sandiford

Impact Coordinator

A keen storyteller & collaborator, Laura works alongside Hannah as the Impact Coordinator, where she measures and highlights the impact of Better Connect across its business, programmes, and partnerships. She does so by working with a range of people to gather information and stories, which she then translates into engaging content across Better Connect’s channels.

Building relationships and networks is a large part of Laura’s role, alongside ensuring the ‘’Better Connect story’’ is woven throughout all communications.

Laura’s favourite part of the role is connecting with the faces behind the case studies and giving voice to their experiences.

Learn more about Laura