Celebrating Go4it & The Impact of RISE

Celebrating Go4it & The Impact of 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 – and closing the opportunities gap for those furthest from the labour market. Their skilled team offer over a hundred accredited and non-accredited courses ranging from security and first aid training to functional skills, alongside holistic employability support.

Across several of our key projects, including RISE, they’ve supported over 700 individuals to find their confidence, purpose, and a sense of belonging. Many of whom have now entered education, job-search, or employment, often despite an increasingly complex set of circumstances (care leavers, refugees, ex-offenders, intergenerational qualification gaps etc).

Last week, our Impact Team joined Go4it for the day to sit in on some of the action with their RISE cohort. We dove into some immersive security training activities with Operations Manager, Tutor & Assessor, Dan, and tested their VR (Virtual Reality) headsets (more on that in another blog)- chatting to their team and participants along the way.

We caught up with Jane, Simon, Becky, and Tom to learn more about their experiences across Action Towards Inclusion and its successor – RISE (Reducing Inequalities, Supporting Employment).


Jane & Simon

We first spoke with Functional Skills Tutor Simon, and Keyworker Jane. Interestingly, Simon first came to Go4it as a participant on Action Towards Inclusion (ATI), referred by his job-coach, and supported by his now colleague, Jane. After 20 years in teaching and a challenging stint working in a care-home, he’d suffered a mental breakdown and his confidence had taken a real knock.

After attending an initial week’s course on employability skills at Go4it, where Simon and tutor Brian had gone ‘back to basics’- exploring his strengths & CV writing, it was then that Simon began to emerge from his ‘’shell’’ and started vocalising a desire to return to the classroom.

Several years down the line from dedicated support on ATI with Keyworker Jane, and he’s now one of Go4it’s Functional Skills Tutors, helping others who were in a similar position to him gain confidence and qualifications in Maths, English and IT-’Some of the people we support remind me of me when I first came’’.

As Simon puts it, he teaches ‘’phonetically’’ – ‘’I teach in a way that I can understand it’’. Being Dyslexic, teaching with accessibility in mind is key for Simon, especially when English is a second or even third language, or participants have a complicated background, which many of their RISE participants do.

Becky, now a colleague of Simon’s, is one of the many people he has seen flourish under the Go4it team & his tutoring.













[Jane & Simon]


Simon & Becky

Like Simon, Becky first started out at Go4it as a participant on ATI. Experiencing chronic mental and physical health issues at the time, Becky reached a point where she ‘’needed to make some changes’’ and began to research where she could access English & Maths courses- ’I’ve always wanted to go to University, but I didn’t get the qualifications at school and knew I had to start somewhere.’’ It was then, that Becky found Go4it, and Tutor Simon.

Across several months, they began to work together on a 121 basis, enrolling Becky in Functional English, and Maths, and slowly building her confidence, employability skills, and ability to engage with others:

‘’You don’t know what to expect if you’ve not been in like an education for years. You think it is going to be like school and I was surprised to find it was just relaxed atmosphere, which was really good. Simon’s a good tutor and you do still get that one-on-one support with him.’’

Towards the end of the course, having seen Becky’s transformation and enthusiasm for learning, she was then given the opportunity to volunteer on one of Go4it’s English courses.

Supporting lots of individuals on a course where many were foreign nationals, was where Becky’s passion for teaching and coaching really took hold, ’I loved it. Just helping them and seeing them progress. I just absolutely loved it. And then I started volunteering doing other things, bits of office and we just progressed from there.’’

From this point onwards, Becky slowly began taking on additional duties, and is now a full-time Keyworker on RISE with Go4it. Like Simon, she’s come full-circle and is now supporting a range of individuals move closer to work and education – and has found a home in Go4it with their incredible team.

Chatting to Simon about Becky’s journey from participant to Keyworker, he says it’s like ’chalk and cheese’’– ‘’she’s got so much confidence now.’’

For Becky, her favourite part of being a Keyworker is ‘’seeing the progression’’, something she’s followed closely with participant, Tom, who she’s currently supporting across RISE.











[Simon & Becky]


Becky & Tom

As with Simon and Becky, Tom’s journey on RISE has been largely about finding confidence, and an accessible route into learning. From the ages of 14-16, Tom had frequent periods of absence from school due to his Cystic Fibrosis, resulting in some profound gaps in his learning.

Referred via the Living Well Team after moving from York to Scarborough, Tom has been working alongside Becky in 121 sessions since last March, where she’s provided a safe space to ‘’talk things through’’, discuss goals for the future, and work on his reading and writing with a Level 1 English course. Skills which are equipping him practically- with deciphering hospital correspondence/jargon, and interpersonally- where he’s now helping his five-year-old niece to develop her own literacy skills.

Becky has seen Tom’s confidence come on leaps and bounds on his RISE journey- ‘’when you first came you were really nervous weren’t you and you didn’t want to be in the room with others, and now you’ll sit and you’ll chat away, you’re a lot more confident.’’  

Tom has gone on to make friends, feel more comfortable socialising, and explore additional learning opportunities with Go4it, rekindling a positive relationship with education through Becky’s support. The future looks bright, and he’s even keen to explore accountancy courses in the future.

Since coming to Go4it, Tom feels at home, like he isn’t the ‘’odd one out’’ anymore, a sentiment that’s overarchingly shared by the rest of the team too.












[Becky & Tom]


Final Thoughts

RISE is making a palpable difference to lives across York and North Yorkshire, and Go4it are one of the many pieces to this fantastic partnership puzzle. They provide a safe space for people to come and be themselves, learn in an accessible way, and develop essential skills to better equip them in their lives. The team never turn anyone away, supporting those aged sixteen, ‘’all the way up to ninety-six’’ if they think they can provide support (whether that’s through digital skills or even security guard training).

There’s a real sense of warmth and genuine care about the people they’re supporting. Jane tells us one story about a participant who’d experienced homelessness for twenty years, who she’d helped pay for a birth certificate, which had then allowed him to open a bank account:

‘’He’s now got a bank account, and you know what he said to me, he said- I’m now a person, I exist. And it was as simple as that, but without us he wouldn’t have the tools to be able to do that.’’

Asking Jane, Simon, Becky, & Tom what’s special about Go4it, it boils down to ‘’the people’’- ‘’the team’’, hence why Simon and Becky have each made a home and a career here, supporting others in a way that they were once supported.


A huge thank you to the Go4it team for bringing us in on some of the incredible support you offer! Stay tuned for more on Go4it and the incredible work they’re doing across RISE and Multiply.

For more information on the programme, contact Joe McKenzie, RISE Programme Manager @ [email protected] // 01423 795319 or ext 2012

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