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Transform Lives Company invites businesses to act on social value ambitions following lottery win

The social enterprise is seeking local organisations to partner with to help support the region’s unemployed

Liverpool based social enterprise, Transform Lives Company (TLC) is celebrating after securing £250,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, which will enable more long-term unemployed people in the Liverpool City Region to access support and unleash their potential.

Over the course of the next four years, TLC aims to use the funding to work with up to 240 people that may have additional and possibly longer-term health, wellbeing and social isolation support needs, and connect them with businesses across the region to help boost skills and confidence, as well as creating employment opportunities. The participants go through the programmes in groups and benefit from wellbeing workshops and one-on-one coaching support to improve their own mental and/or physical health, as well as practical guidance into employment.

Founded in 2013, Transform Lives Company is a pioneering person-focused social enterprise, determined to rethink and advocate how people’s unmet life needs can be realised, by working alongside organisations looking to contribute to their communities beyond their core purpose. Since then, over 500 people have been supported by TLC, including 86 young people who are currently working at digital and creative businesses across Liverpool as part of the government funded Kickstart scheme.

As part of its Big Lottery funding success celebrations, TLC is hosting a virtual event on 15th September, inviting local businesses to come and find out more about the programmes they offer. Attendees will also hear first-hand from those that have been supported by TLC, some of whom have gone on to become artists, musicians and bakers.

MD and founder of Transform Lives Company, Tracy Fishwick OBE, said: “We think it’s such a crying shame that there are still many people a long way from meaningful, fulfilling lives, with work or without. So, we set about changing that.

“Our approach is truly person-centred so that each individual gets the support they need, but for those businesses that go on to be employer partners with us, it also helps them to deliver real social value in what they do too. It can be difficult to know where to start in terms of creating truly impactful social value and that’s where we come in.

“Our developmental support really is life changing and this new investment from The Big Lottery Community Fund means we can help another 240 people, which we’re really excited about. But that’s just the start of what we want to do over the next few years, and so we’re asking businesses to help by using us by stepping forward to offer work experience, mentoring programmes, training for sector specific roles and most importantly, guaranteeing job interviews to TLC participants.”.

At the event on 15th September, Tracy and her team will be joined by guest speaker Dr Carol Costello from the University of Liverpool. She said: “Over five years ago the university collaborated with Transform Lives Company to develop a ground-breaking initiative, GiveGetGo, which created meaningful and inclusive ways of bringing in un-tapped talent to the university.

“Importantly, it was an opportunity to use our unique position as a civic leader to encourage others to join in, so that together we could all support more people in our community. It’s great to know that by forging a partnership with a local social enterprise, so many lives have been transformed and that we’ve played a role in that. I’d ask more businesses to get involved in the next phase of this work with us to benefit local people. TLC’s focus on wellbeing, supported now by the Lottery, is exactly the good news we need at the moment!”

Steve Jones is a TLC participant and has been supported by its GiveGetGo programme throughout the pandemic, which directly connects an individual’s skill set, to gaining work experience at a suitable business. He said: “I have found the one-to-one weekly telephone calls something to look forward to and similarly, the twice weekly Zoom calls with other GiveGetGoers, provide a real external contact with great things to think about and share experiences with. As I live on my own, I find these contacts give me a positive mental boost and provide a structure to the week, particularly during lockdown.

“I really appreciate the genuine care and interest shown by the staff at TLC, who I feel provide individualised psychological care and support, along with all the practical stuff like job vacancy alerts. I do feel, although at a social distance, part of a family of caring sharing people.”

Businesses can sign up to Transform Lives Company event on 15th September to find out more information about how to become an employer partner, here.