Changing one person’s life can have an enormous impact

Our programmes are designed to create sustainable positive change in the lives of individuals, which is why our partners work holistically to address individual needs and barriers. We recognise that in supporting one person to thrive, many more lives are transformed as a result. We call this the Ripple Effect.

Through our programmes, participants gain skills, confidence, improved wellbeing, and are given guidance on how to make purposeful changes in their lives. We acknowledge that for many, this path is not linear, and each person’s journey looks different.

We have heard stories of participants who have become better parents, who become financially independent and are able to support their families, who no longer need to access NHS services due to feeling they are able to survive on their own, who no longer have suicidal thoughts and have created lives that are fulfilling and satisfying.

Recent Case Studies

These inspirational short stories demonstrate the high level of impact our projects have on real people’s lives in York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding.


Nathan's Story - Autism Plus

Nathan's Story - Autism Plus

Nathan has struggled with ADHD and Dyslexia for most of his life and found that it had become a barrier to moving forward into employment.

When he moved to Scarborough he met Charlotte who just so happened to work for Autism Plus. Charlotte enrolled him on the RISE Programme, and Nathan’s life has since transformed


Multiply - Kian's Story

Multiply - Kian's Story

Before meeting CJ, Kian was struggling with alcohol abuse, felt lonely and isolated and lacked direction in his life. His finances had become out of control and he needed help to make changes.

CJ works for York Based CIC Coterminous and is a keyworker on the Multiply programme. He has supported Kian to regain control of his life, gain his confidence back, get control of his finances and find employment!

Kian is now becoming the father he wants to be for his daughter and enjoying life again

Jimmy's Story - Up For Yorkshire

Jimmy's Story - Up For Yorkshire

Selby District AVS (now Up for Yorkshire) are a Keyworker on the ATI Programme, they support people across the district to transform their lives.

In this video you will hear Jimmy’s story. Jimmy began the ATI Programme in a very dark place, struggling with his anger. After meeting his keyworker Chris, his life changed.

This video was made in collaboration with Inspired Youth

Luke's Story - Working for Health

Luke's Story - Working for Health

Working for Health bridge the gap between mental health and employability services in Hull, East Riding and Selby.

Luke came across Working for Health when he was struggling with his mental health and had lost all self belief. He knew he needed to make changes and needed support knowing where to start. Luke has become so empowered by the support that he wants to go on to support others and has set up his own business ‘We Go Again’ to do just that!

Kate's Story - York Learning

Kate's Story - York Learning

Kate was struggling to find employment after moving over the UK. She found support through RISE at York Learning and studied ESOL and functional skills to get her to become more job ready.

After seeing the impact of the pandemic she wanted to work in the healthcare sector so realised she had to develop her skills in order to do that.

She now is doing an apprenticeship and is doing something she loves!

Ashley's Story - Humankind

Ashley's Story - Humankind

Ashley came to the Thriving at Work programme when he was struggling with lack of motivation and drive after a relationship breakdown.

He wanted to be a good role model for his daughter and be the best dad he could be for her.

Through the Thriving at Work programme, Ashley met Leanne and they built a trust that empowered Ashley to thrive and move forward with his life

Connect with us via our social media for updates on our projects, opportunities, the team and our impact. Visit our YouTube to find more case study videos and hear about the lives that have been transformed through our fantastic partnerships and programmes


“We have been lucky enough to continue the same model [as ATI] on our current local government-funded programme: Reducing Inequalities, Supporting Employment (RISE). This launched just as ATI finished, very much picking up where the last project left off. As we look ahead, we hope to be able to continue this tried and tested successful model. We also hope to build on it and make it even better, by incorporating in-work support, meaning the partners can actually support people all the way through their journeys into work and beyond.”

— Joe Mckenzie, RISE Programme Manager (IEP Journal)

“My biggest development as a leader has been understanding the power of having a growth mindset and encouraging others to do the same. ”

— Natasha Babar-Evans, Better Connect CEO (What 3 Words Leadership Locations Report)

“ATI was seen to have been a unique programme which brought life-changing benefits to its participants. There was agreement that the ending of ATI would be a significant loss to employability support within the region, and a strong message from keyworkers that a way to maintain the model should be sought.”

— Dr Annie Irvine (on ATI)

“Keyworkers described multi-layered packages of support that they had put together for different participants. For example, one case involved support to find appropriate housing, enrolling the participant in education, supporting at family court hearings, and arranging mentoring support for the participant’s non-dependent child. The focus could vary, from the more emotional support and confidence building, to the more practical. ”

— Dr Annie Irvine (on ATI)

“Perspective-taking was a tool used by some keyworkers. Programme participants talked about how their coach would ask them to imagine what they would tell a friend or colleague in their situation, or to take the perspective of another person who was observing their own behaviours or actions, and what that would look or feel like. Some participants mentioned the value of accountability, when done in a non-judgemental and supportive manner. ”

— Dr Annie Irvine and Dr. Jane Suter (on TAW)

“Interviews with keyworkers revealed two distinctive approaches within the Workplace Support programme. We describe these as ‘coaching’ vs. ‘keyworking’. Both approaches are highly person-centred and programme participants experienced both as incredibly valuable. The main differences were that the coaching model was more structured and boundaried whilst the key working approach was more open-ended and holistic.”

— Dr Annie Irvine and Dr Jane Suter (on TAW)

“The sort of referrals I was getting were people struggling with life challenges rather than work challenges. And also with maybe debt, housing, relationships, a bit of substance misuse maybe, mental health, anxiety, depression. But it was affecting their work. So it wasn't that their work was bothering them, but the issues going on in their life were affecting their work and preventing them from developing and having that improved labour status or confidence.”

— TAW Keyworker and Report Participant

“Quite a few of the participants have had a lot of mental health support before … but those challenges don’t go away for them. So it’s how to navigate the office environment, how to navigate social isolation when you’re home working, things like that. How to navigate your anxiety, your depression or even people who are neurodivergent, how that translates to the office for them and their colleagues and their access to work passports, and things like that; how that’s incorporated into their day-to-day work.

— TAW Keyworker and Report Participant

“My life looks pretty awesome right now, obviously I wasn’t myself when I first got in touch with Leanne (Keyworker), but since then she’s helped me massively, she even took me under the wing; I now feel like I’m able to leave the nest- like I was one of her kids and now I’m able to fly again”

— Ashley, Thriving at Work Participant

“(ATI) Provided me with insight into my own needs and support for my autism-caused social and emotional issues, helped me to believe that I have value and deserve to succeed in life. Provided a space where I could safely "be autistic" and still feel supported”

— Former Participant on ATI

“Before I went on ATI, I was just a loose cannon, never got on in life, angry all the time. I was going from job to job working my way up and then the anger would take over and I’d lose the job, everywhere I went before, nothing really helped.. Now look, I've got my own business!”

— Jimmy, ATI Participant

“The transformation has been nothing short of mind-blowing, the way I interact with people, the way I can live my life differently. I became employable, I could speak with people, engage with people, and the biggest part of my journey is that I’m helping others that was in the position I was in before”

— Glen, ATI Participant and Keyworker

“"The difference I’ve seen for people has been so humbling, so overwhelming at times, but so phenomenal to see what people can
achieve with the right combination of support"”

— Keyworker on ATI

“WOW – working with Better Connect has always been an exhilarating experience. I can only describe my work with Better Connect as a “decade of opportunities” from ATI to ESF to Kickstart and TEWV. A funder who embraces our shared values enabling the people we support to benefit from so many life changing opportunities.
SDAVS continues to be committed to supporting the needs of the communities we support. Working with Better Connect is always a pleasure, combining a positive work ethic, inclusive delivery style, and open communication at all times. This has ensured that our shared aspirations can be achieved, with so many individuals assisted to succeed.
May the opportunities continue!”

— Chris Hailey-Norris, Chief Officer, Selby District AVS

“Better Connect is a fantastic organisation with a diverse, accessible and person led ethos. They are incredibly supportive and provide an invaluable bridge between organisations and funders, helping to maximise the potential of vital community-based projects throughout the county. They have enabled our organisation to expand and develop, as well as supporting us personally, as practitioners, to have the confidence, resources and backing, to dream big!”

— Emily Havercroft – Director of Making Things Happen

“Orb Community Enterprise has worked closely with Better Connect (previously Your Consortium) for many years now and it has been a very successful working arrangement. The staff are very approachable and responsive. They understand what Orb does and do their very best to accommodate the way we work – some funders are quite rigid in their requirements and negotiating flexibility isn’t always easy – but Better Connect do listen and are very supportive. 
Effectively they are a great team, and we enjoy working with them very much indeed!”

— Elizabeth Marshall Operations Manager – Orb Community Enterprise

“Rural Arts brings creativity to every community in North Yorkshire – and Better Connect (previously Your Consortium) are an important part of making that happen. We’ve partnered together on many projects, and Better Connect are always collaborative, supporting and trusting. They help us to deliver the best outcomes for our communities and work to be flexible about how we achieve this in a way that’s right for us, and our participants. Their team is knowledgeable, friendly, and passionate about what they do. Our partnerships with Better Connect are an important strategic driver, and the organisation is invaluable as a connector, contract manager and support body for the VCSE sector across North Yorkshire. ”

— Max May – Director and CEO of Rural Arts

“I am proud and excited to be moving forward with Better Connect as they step out, in their ever-increasing support, to reach some of the most vulnerable and isolated individuals across North Yorkshire.  Having worked very closely with them (under their former name of Your Consortium) since 2018, I cannot praise their work enough.  Their work with both individuals and partner organisations is exceptional; their vision is far-reaching and all-encompassing; their staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and prompt in their support.  As ever, this is Yorkshire at its best and I cannot think of any more appropriate way to ‘better connect’ with those who need it most.  Looking forward to many more years of working together as the organisation develops.”

— CJ Allison – Yorkshire Employability Manager – Resume Foundation

Our Impact Team

Our Impact Team is made up of creative individuals who share a passion in sharing and demonstrating the impact that our programmes are making. They do this through storytelling, social media, blog posts, events and collecting/understanding data.

Get in touch with them if you would like to help us raise awareness of the impact Better Connect and our Partners are making.

News and Updates

Launching Rise2Thrive

Blog Impact news item RISE Rise2Thrive Thriving at Work

  We are excited to share with you that we have been successful at securing a new partnership programme across York and North Yorkshire, Rise2Thrive! Rise2Thrive is funded through the governments UKSPF fund, and distributed across North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council. What is Rise2Thrive? Building off the success from our previous programmes,

Up For RISE – Celebrating Up For Yorkshire & their RISE Participants!

Blog Impact Meet the Team Mental Health news item RISE

  Over the past few weeks, our Impact Team have been especially busy visiting our partners and listening to participant stories across our projects! This week we’re celebrating Selby’s Up For Yorkshire, having recently visited and facilitated a discussion with a few of their RISE participants. Spearheaded by a team of vibrant staff passionate about

Multiply – Kian’s Story

Blog Impact multiply news item

  The Impact Team have been busy at Better Connect recently, collecting stories across our programmes and hearing about how the support is truly changing peoples lives. This month, we had the pleasure of meeting Kian who had received support from CJ. CJ works for York Based CIC Coterminous and is a keyworker on the

Celebrating Go4it & The Impact of RISE

Blog Meet the Team Mental Health news item RISE

  At Better Connect, we want to celebrate our partners and the fantastic work they do across our programmes! Last week we had the pleasure of visiting the team at Go4It and spent the day with them learning more about their team, their stories and what they do. Scarborough based, Go4it are passionate about people

Community Fridges, Flexible Starts & Numeracy Support- How Blue Dolphin are Supporting Their Team Through Multiply

Blog Employer Engagement multiply news item Thriving at Work

  As part of the Multiply scheme, our Multiply partners are keen to engage with a range of businesses, big and small, to recalibrate how employers are thinking about recruitment, upskilling, and workplace support through a numerical lens. In line with this employee/employer focus, one of our partners, Autism Plus, have been dropping into workplaces

Inspiring Leaders – Jacky and Joe

Blog Careers Meet the Team news item RISE Thriving at Work

  Developing your leaders and managers in a way that supports your business is key to your success. Pro-Development work with managers and leaders to help them to develop their skills and confidence enabling them to become an inspiring and authentic leader. They offer a range of support, programmes, tools and techniques for people at

Apertures, City Maps & Budgeting- Up for Yorkshire on Jon’s Multiply Journey

Blog Mental Health multiply news item RISE

  Up for Yorkshire are one of our fantastic partners on the Multiply programme, and have been running a range of sessions across year 2 of provision to inspire numbers confidence and encourage participants to utilise their maths skills on the daily. From bushcraft to budgeting, to cooking, sewing, and photography geared sessions, the team are

Multiply’s Magic- Navigating Numbers With Coterminous

Blog LGBT+ multiply news item Wellbeing Resources

  A couple of weeks ago the Impact team paid a visit to York Travellers Trust. Light, bright and welcoming, the Trust is a cohesive community space for Gypsy and Traveller Communities, which doubles up as a foodbank, education centre, community-hub, and refuge for meaningful conversations. Coterminous, one of our fantastic partners on the Multiply

Report Launch! A Qualitative Evaluation of Better Connect’s Thriving at Work: Workplace Support

Blog Disability Mental Health news item Research & Reports Thriving at Work

  Last week, we launched our in-house Thriving at Work report, and as part of the round-up, today we’re excited to launch our evaluative report on the 121 Workplace Support strand of the programme – read it here. Led by Dr Jane Suter, Dr Annie Irvine, and former TAW Programme Manager, Emma Lyons, this report

The Impact of Thriving at Work – Connecting The Dots Between Diversity and Inclusion

Blog Disability Mental Health news item Research & Reports Thriving at Work

  In June 2023, we said goodbye to our Thriving at Work (TAW) programme, a partnership programme which spanned more than two years and supported over eight hundred individuals in their journeys towards workplace wellbeing. Our partnership vision centred on creating more robust policies and practices surrounding diversity and inclusion, offered via a series of

Better Connections – Peer Support Session 3

Blog Meet the Team Mental Health news item RISE Wellbeing Resources

        On an icy January morning, a group of RISE partners braved the weather to meet in Selby for our third peer support meeting. Following on from the first two events, which focused mainly on open discussions amongst the keyworkers and intervention partners, we wanted to do something a little different for

Meet Ben, York Mind RISE Keyworker

Blog Meet the Team Mental Health news item RISE Wellbeing Resources

  Over the last few months, the RISE partnership welcomed keyworker Ben to York Mind, and he’s been keen to properly introduce himself to the partnership following our peer support networks and the rise of more cross-partner collaborations.  With  a diverse skill set, Ben has tried on a fair few hats in his career (including

Reflections, Resolutions, and a Happy New Year from Better Connect!

Action Towards Inclusion Blog Internal Meet the Team multiply news item RISE Thriving at Work

  Happy New Year from all of us here at Better Connect! Wondering what we’ve been up to over the last 365 days? With resolutions in full force, it’s only right that we share a few of our own after first recapping on some of our 2023 headliners, from programme closures to new launches, to

“If you find the courage to reach out to RISE I can only promise good things”- Michael’s journey on the RISE Project

Blog Mental Health news item RISE

Ever wondered what the RISE journey can look like for our participants across the programme? Today we’re sharing Michael’s experience of working with York Mind & Keyworker Ben, on everything from employability to mental health support.  Michael has come on leaps and bounds from his initial meeting with Ben, read his story in his own

West Yorkshire Rise2Thrive Launch – Did you miss it?

Blog news item RISE Thriving at Work

  On Thursday 7th December, we ran a virtual launch for our new partnership offering Rise2Thrive West Yorkshire. If you missed out, check out the video below for information about Better Connect, what we do and how we do it and our vision for Rise2Thrive. If you are interested in applying, click here If you

Transformation, Empowerment and Social Change: Real Impact across Yorkshire

Action Towards Inclusion Blog Internal news item RISE Thriving at Work

  The Better Connect team are excited to officially launch our Impact Report! Back in July our Impact Team began the process of collaborating with Research Retold on bringing the impact of our projects, alongside our brand and story to life! We’re delighted to share the finished product with you (click below) Transformation, empowerment and

Better Connect(ions) – Peer Support Meeting Two

Blog Mental Health news item RISE

  A couple of weeks ago, Better Connect hosted the second Peer Support meeting for the RISE partnership. Held at the Wesley Centre in Harrogate (a known community-hub) it was a great second opportunity for our partners to network, trouble-shoot, and engage in a group art therapy session. With the Peer Support tool still in

New UKSPF Partnership Opportunity in West Yorkshire.. Apply now!

Blog news item RISE Thriving at Work

  We will be running an online event on the 7th December @ 9.30 to talk about Rise2Thrive and meet potential delivery partners, want to come along? Book online here  It’s an exciting time as we start to see the People & Skills funding opportunities under UKSPF for Year 3 (April 2024- March 25), which

Former ATI Participant ‘Sign with Sarah-Jade’ wins New Business of The Year Award 2023!

Action Towards Inclusion Blog news item RISE

  Today we’re celebrating Sarah-Jade, one of our former participants on ATI who has just gone on to win York Mix Radio’s New Business of The Year 2023 with her business ‘Sign with Sarah-Jade’! Sarah is a British Sign Language (BSL) teacher, who teaches a range of classes from babies to adults in York and

Better Connections- Wellbeing for Keyworkers

Blog Meet the Team Mental Health news item RISE Thriving at Work Wellbeing Resources

  This week, we’ve shared several posts covering the impact of our former Thriving at Work programme in honour of International Happiness at Work Week, and today, we’re spotlighting our keyworkers & partners as we begin to focus more heavily on supporting their happiness at work. After several discussions about keyworker challenges, the team came