Our impact

It takes effort to fix sticky and persistent problems in our broken system because the issues leading to poverty are often complicated and require more than one kind of support. Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change co-designs services with communities because person-centred services made up of many voices make better sense.

Our impact

It takes effort to fix sticky and persistent problems in our broken system because the issues leading to poverty are often complicated and require more than one kind of support. Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change co-designs services with communities because person-centred services made up of many voices make better sense.
Allotment group at Sawles Road Allotments, St Austell

What we do

Job Support

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change offers support to anyone who is looking for work or experiencing in-work poverty to address the barriers that are holding them back from getting the job they want or moving into jobs that require more skills and qualifications. It does this with government and European Union funding.

CN4C builds confidence and self-esteem in those who have been knocked-back through recent redundancy or long-term unemployment. That can be support to buy interview clothes and cover child care and travel costs for job interviews or longer-term, 1-1 coaching and training for those who have fewer qualifications and less work experience.

An increasingly important part of the support we provide is sourcing IT equipment and low-cost options for broadband so that people can take part in online training, access services and manage their lives.
Tyler on work experience at K9 Crusaders, Redruth pictured with Wendy
Bringing communities together to do the things that matter most, providing people with opportunities to live their best life, become better off and to make better sense of the system.

In 2021, Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change helped:

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with employment and training

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learners

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meals delivered to the doorstep

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families with Why Don’t You? Club

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with a Crisis worker

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through social prescribing

When I started working with CN4C I was kind of in despair. I had been treated terribly in every job I had for the last 15 years and felt like I had no chance of ever holding down a job because I would never be treated fairly. When I started [on programme with] CN4C I expected to be discriminated and dismissed again, and I was surprised when I wasn’t. I spent many weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never happened, and I started to realise that I was genuinely being accepted.

So after that I started to wonder why I was being accepted, and came to the conclusion that it was because CN4C is a very open minded sort of environment, and it made me realise that most of the jobs I had had previously were with very closed minded and rough sorts of people, so it made me think I needed to search for work in environments with people who were known for being inclusive, that’s what made me think of the NHS. So I asked your for help and you signed me up to 4work, and you managed to get me an interview at Treliske. They didn’t give me the job, but they were encouraging and said I should continue applying for work with them in future, rather than encouraging me to give up or just ignoring me like other interviewers had done to me in the past. This made me realise that I was on the right track.

I continued applying for work in the healthcare sector, and had you look over my personal statements and applications and stuff, and eventually I found a place that would take me on. Thank you so much for the help, you showed me that there are genuinely kind and open minded people who won’t judge me over superficial things, that I’m not just in a world of bigots but that there are good people in the world who really need me as well. I think if not for that I likely would have given up since I really was at the end of my rope and ready to accept life as a hermit, CN4C was really my last effort at getting to be a part of society, and I’m so glad it worked for me
He had been unemployed and on ESA since 2013 and has a 9-year-old autistic son whom he cares for at the weekends. His aim was to build his confidence and self-esteem; look at updating his CV and increase his skill set from engaging and studying for a Level 2 in Maths and English. He also needed support to access a laptop and connectivity. His future aim was to get back to work which would give him more structure and increase his financial status.

Gary was lent a laptop and referred to engage in Level 2 in English and Maths. He started to take these modules during lockdown, but due to issues with the laptop and camera, he had to drop out of this course until the existing laptop could be fixed. During this time, the caseworker sent his CV to a local foodbank, as he had an interest in volunteering. After a few weeks he was offered a voluntary role there. He also started to attend counselling for his anxiety. His CN4C Change Coach wrote letters to charities to try and get funding for a new laptop. After three months the Elmgrant Trust awarded him a grant of £280, and he has now purchased a brand-new laptop. He re-applied to take his Level 2 in English and Maths in September 2021. The caseworker continued to work alongside him, and contact was made weekly with a view to look at part time work. Information was sent to him about vacancies at a local community centre and park, where he would regularly go for a walk to bring down his anxiety levels.

In July he was offered a part time job of 15.5 hours working there as a maintenance worker. This is known as ‘permitted work’ so his ESA will not be affected – giving him an extra £142 a week to live on. This has been a huge steppingstone and achievement for him. He has continued to achieve his journey towards his desired goals with a view to increasing his self-esteem and confidence and to have more financial control and more structure in his life for himself and his son.

Learning

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change provides community learning courses and skills training accredited by The Cornwall College Group and access to higher education (HEWP) through a partnership with the University of Plymouth. Over 95 learners per academic year access courses from creative writing to horticulture, psychology, smartphone photography, criminology and IT.

TOAST, which stands for Taking Our Achievements and Successes Together, supports school leavers aged 16-18 who find college provision overwhelming and would benefit from studying in small groups with access to additional learning support. Toast will also support 18-25 learners with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan). The TOAST programme offers English, Maths and ICT Functional Skills up to Level 2 (the equivalent of GCSE); an employability qualification and work experience.

Family Support

Why Don’t You? Club is a fun, free family engagement group which provides creative activities and outdoor adventures weekly, year-round on Saturday mornings for 25-30 regular participants. Families that take part have often been affected by issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, drug and alcohol consumption, family breakdown, as well as bereavement and educational exclusion. Why Don’t You? Club is increasingly working with those involuntarily home-educating because mainstream is not able to accommodate their child’s needs.
During lockdowns, Why Don’t You? Club ran live online cooking sessions, a crafting Zoom and storytelling sessions and whenever possible, went outdoors (increasing resilience and a willingness to embrace all weathers).

The 2021 Summer Club worked with 50 families with children in receipt of free school meals. As well as taking part in creative activities and being outdoors, participants learnt about local history and the Cornish language. The highlight of summer activities is a residential at Heathercombe Centre on Dartmoor where 12 families enjoy a two-night stay, often the only family holiday.
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Why Don’t You? Club in their Easter bonnets

Food Support

Food support is delivered to households unable to access sufficient food because of isolation, physical and/or mental health conditions, or poverty. Meals are cooked using surplus food from supermarkets and growers, meaning that food that would otherwise have been wasted is being put to good use.
Over 9000 cooked and chilled meals were delivered to households in Camborne, Pool and Redruth from March 2020 to June 2021 to vulnerable households who were required to isolate or experiencing hardship.

From January to June 2021 (when home food deliveries ended), 126 households also received fresh, tinned and dry goods each week. That’s 1731 meals over a 6 month period delivered by a core team of three staff and volunteers.

On Christmas Eve 2021, Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change delivered 150 Christmas lunches and 290 gifts for adults and children to households in Camborne, Illogan, Pool and Redruth.

The community larder supported 242 households with groceries and extra supplies in the last quarter of 2021.
Cook Well, Eat Well course with families from Pendeen

Crisis Support

2021 saw an increase in requests for support because of the housing crisis caused by a squeeze on housing to rent and fuel poverty. Requests for help with housing and homelessness increased by over 50% during the last three months 2021 with an associated impact on people’s mental health. As a result, Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change increased Crisis Support and now has one dedicated member of staff working full-time in this role, supported by a volunteer.

The people supported by Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change come from across Cornwall but the majority live in Camborne, Pool, Redruth and St Austell as they can access the Crisis service at The Elms and St Austell Community Bank community hubs. We work with a number of other charities and social enterprises such as Disability Cornwall, Community Energy Plus, Coastline Housing, Adult Social Care and Age UK which regularly refer people to us.

CN4C works in partnership with Citizens Advice Cornwall with CN4C hosting secure online access to appointments with Citizens Advice legal and debt advice service at its community hubs.
Crisis staff saw 248 people in 2021 with 425 presenting issues. The primary issues that individuals are seeking support for are:
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Secondary crisis issues

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Woman sitting listening with legs crossed

Social Prescribing

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change has contracts with the Carn to Coast and North Kerrier Primary Care Networks to provide social prescribing support. People are referred to social prescribing by their GP surgery.

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change Social Prescribing Link Workers saw over 600 people in 2021 who were seeking support around mental health and wellbeing and support with social isolation. As well as one-to-one support with a Social Prescribing Link Worker, people are encouraged to take part in the activities we provide such as Healthy Mondays, a three-month programme of gentle exercise and support for wellbeing delivered in partnership with Healthy Cornwall.

During 2021, Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change developed a young people’s programme offering mental health support with a Social Prescribing Link Worker.

How we do it

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change uses a process called co-design, where everyone’s voice is valued equally, to design its services. This gives individuals with lived experience an opportunity to affect change by working with professionals to assess what works and ways of improving what doesn’t work.

Our frontline staff are trained to deliver Information, Advice and Guidance (Level 2 and Level 3) and use coaching conversations techniques to provide a positive, supportive challenge to change. CN4C is working with Rockpool Life CIC to become a trauma-informed organisation.
Two older men enjoying a cup of tea and a chat at The Elms community hub building, Redruth