Local Linking Reflections – What will be the impact of the Action Towards Inclusion programme ending?

Local Linking Reflections – What will be the impact of the Action Towards Inclusion programme ending?

In March we ran a series of Local Linking Events. These events were an opportunity for people who are involved or interested in the Action Towards Inclusion or Thriving at Work programmes to come together, network and discuss important problems or issues that they may be faced with.

One of the key issues that was discussed at all of the events was ‘What will be the impact of the Action Towards Inclusion programme ending?’  

There was a real concern across all districts for both ESF funded ATI and Thriving at Work coming to an end in 2023. Words likecatastrophic, tragic, and devastating’ were used to describe the void that ending these projects will create..

Some of the main concerns for the programmes coming to an end include;

  • Increased burden on statutory services and other provision that is already stretched
  • Loss of a sense of community
  • People will fall through the gap due to rigid eligibility requirements of other provision. Individuals that are not claiming benefits will be missed
  • Relapse – barriers will come back or may reoffend
  • Negative and severe impact on mental health
  • Disengagement from society and other services
  • Detrimental economic impact
  • End of current partnerships and relationships – we will now have to compete with each other
  • Fear that there won’t be anything to support all the people who will still be there/facing multiple barriers
  • Increase in isolation
  • Increase in unemployment
  • Lack of support and provision for marginalised groups
  • Significant reduction in funding to each district to enable us to work with people who need the support the most
  • Less provision for referrers to sign post their clients to
  • Lose highly skills staff and well-established networks – staff will have to move on and find other roles. This will start to happen long before the end of the project and will impact remaining provision.
  • Potential to lose delivery organisations
  • Loss in infrastructure
  • Loss of knowledge and expertise

It is clear that the impact of losing such problems will have a huge and wide reaching impact.


So what are we going to do about it?

We asked attendee’s was ‘What are your top 3 priorities for any future programmes that replace ATI or Thriving at Work?

“We don’t want toast, we want pick and mix” – we want projects that meet the needs of the individuals, everyone is different and has different needs – we need to be able to account for and support this.

The top 3 priorities for future funding were identified as; 

  • To continue to offer a bespoke, holistic, and flexible, person-centred approach utilising the keyworker and intervention model that is NOT time limited
  • Provision for mental health
  • A whole journey approach that encompasses Action Towards Inclusion and Thriving at Work. In work support is vital for job retention and sustainability. Projects becoming one package with a collaborative goal

Other highly ranked priorities include;

  • Finding long term flexible funding that enables our projects to continue to reach and benefit people across our districts.
  • Maintain and build upon specialist provision, skills, knowledge, and expertise within our partnership
  • Open to all with a large reach in terms of eligibility – fluid projects will be able to meet with and support more people – broad eligibility
  • Closer working with the DWP, NHS, multidisciplinary teams, schools, colleges and councils
  • Support for neurodiverse individuals
  • No geographical barriers

We are looking for funding to build partnership programmes like Action Towards Inclusion and Thriving at Work which support individuals in a holistic and person-centred way to move forward with their lives. Can you help us to do that? Do you know of any funding that you think we could use to do that? If so, get in touch with Head of Programmes Alex Kelley on [email protected]

Hannah Prole

Post by Hannah Prole

Impact Manager

Hannah is our Impact Manager at Better Connect. Her role is to show the impact that Better Connect and our programmes are making in many different ways such as through social media, our website, networking, events and presentations. Hannah is passionate about creating positive environments that people feel safe to be themselves in, especially at work. She loves building strong relationships with partners, meeting new people and really getting to know why people are the way they are and why they do what they do!

Hannah loves being creative and getting into ‘flow’ with her work. She loves making things and being involved in the creative process. Hannah loves working for Better Connect because she gets to have variety in her role and appreciates the positive culture and focus on wellbeing.

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