Strive in East Dunbartonshire
25 June 2010
Partnership's STRIVE in Dunbartonshire initiative recently held
a celebration event to mark the occasion of delivering its 50th
Workshop, and to recognise the achievements of a number of STRIVE
graduates with a "Special Recognition Award".
STRIVE was introduced to Scotland by The Lennox Partnership in
2006, having been identified during a Dunbartonshire Employability
Partnership study visit to New York in 2004. The founder of STRIVE,
Rob Carmona developed the programme in East Harlem to support the
"hardest to reach" clients, and was based on a range of attitudinal
change processes he had experienced while serving time in
Operating now as a franchise across many states in America, Israel
and London, STRIVE continues to achieve excellent job outcome rates
with an average success rate of over 65% of STRIVE graduates moving
The project was introduced to Dunbartonshire to fill a gap in
provision for unemployed clients facing multiple barriers to
employment, including incapacity benefit recipients, ex-offenders,
recovering addicts, lone parents, and those who had previous
experience of support through National Programmes, but had not
progressed to employment.
STRIVE is a three week "essential skills" workshop aimed at
boosting confidence, raising self esteem, and enhancing clients
employment prospects, consisting of a total of 22 activities and
exercises, which have been specifically designed to help and
support those who are experiencing difficulties in overcoming their
barriers to employment. No other service delivered in Scotland
attempts to tackle these issues and barriers in the direct manner
of STRIVE, which has been described previously as "tough love", and
although potentially very challenging for the clients on the
programme, the benefits for those who complete are enormous.
Since its introduction in 2006, the project has supported over 220
clients into sustainable employment, and is currently supported by
The Big Lottery, Department for Work and Pensions, the Fairer
Scotland Fund, and LUPS EU Funding.
The purpose of the Celebration event, which was sponsored by the
Big Lottery, was to bring together new STRIVE clients, STRIVE
graduates, local politicians, employers, funders and partners. As
well as hearing the experiences of the STRIVE graduates, and the
"life changing effect" the programme has had on them, we also had
input from one of the many local employers, who support the
initiative, and who have benefitted from recruiting from the STRIVE
As with many employers the key attribute required for any new
recruit is the "correct attitude", which as was apparent from the
presentation STRIVE graduates have "in abundance"
The second part of the event involved a workshop session, where
each of the groups discussed the question "How can the STRIVE
project continue to meet your existing and future needs" from the
perspective of clients, funders employers and partners. The outputs
of the workshop session will be used as the basis of a development
plan for the project over the coming year.
Feedback from the 80+ attendees on the day has been hugely
positive, confirming that despite the current difficult economic
conditions that prevail the STRIVE project continues to prepare
clients well, to compete effectively for the more limited
employment opportunities that exist.
For further information please contact Blyth Deans, Chief
Executive, The Lennox Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.