NEPT – National Employment Partnership Team

The DWP is in partnership with national employers to create opportunities for disadvantaged groups and to develop diversity in their workforce. 

A good example of a recent NEPT opportunity is when BT offered people the chance to train as an Openreach Engineer.

Their offer actively encouraged applications from people who had never done anything similar before. Successful applicants were offered plenty of support and a very generous starting salary and, by the end of the first year, a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals.

Another example is with British Gas, as part of their Movement to Work pledge for 2018. They offered work experience in a variety of roles, including work in a customer service centre as well as field based opportunities with engineers or smart metering experts. 

If you would like to hear more about the latest NEPT opportunities contact Early Help Employment Advisers Ian Lewis (07540 801859) or Jennifer Fernandes (07540 801849). You can also find out more by asking any work coach in a Jobcentre.

Universal Credit Myth-Busting

Say the words ‘Universal Credit’ to many professionals and it is highly likely that you will get a negative response. Confusion, myths and constant bad press in the national media have led to fear amongst claimants and professionals alike. In this context, it is important that we do all that we can to diminish this anxiety and give clear, non-opinionated and helpful advice.

Myth-Buster #1:

My rent won’t be able to be paid straight to my landlord anymore…

Housing costs can still be paid directly to landlords, as an ‘Alternative Payment Arrangement’. The DWP has a list of factors that they consider when looking at whether they think this would be in the claimant/landlord’s best interest. Encourage people to ask about this when they make a claim, or actively support them to do so.

Myth-Buster #2: 

Universal Credit will replace all of my benefits…

Universal Credit only replaces Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. There are approximately 38 different benefits (although this is a matter of some debate!) that exist in the social security system. The most notable benefits which Universal Credit does not replace are Child Benefit, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, and contributory Employment and Support Allowance and contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Supporting Your Anxious Child/Young Person

The group will provide an opportunity to share experiences and gain support from other parents who are facing similar challenges. It will enable you to increase your knowledge, understanding and skills in managing your young person’s anxiety.

What is covered?

The programme will look at what may be influencing the young person’s behaviour, how behaviour patterns can be learnt; the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviour and practical parenting strategies to enable you to support your young person to overcome their anxiety and avoidance behaviours.

Venue and Dates 

Venue: New Parks Children and Young People and Family Centre, , Leicester, Pindar Road, Leicester, LE3 9RN
Starts: Tuesday’s 3rd July- 21st August 2018
Times: 7.00 – 9.00pm

PDF icon  Download the poster (PDF)
Microsoft Office document icon  Download the group referral form (Word)

Leicester City Council Adult Social Care consultations on VCS services

Leicester City Council is carrying out 6 consultation exercises about proposed changes to services funded by Adult Social Care. Three of the consultations run until Friday 29th June 2018. These are:

  • Support for carers;
  • Visual and dual sensory impairment support; and
  • Lunch Clubs.

The other three run until Friday 3rd August 2018. These are:

  • Advocacy;
  • Disabled Persons’ Support Service; and
  • Support for people who have had a stroke.

All of the surveys are available on the city council’s Consultation Hub.

If you would prefer to fill in a printed version of any of the surveys, contact the council to ask them to send you a printed survey for you to complete and send back:
0116 454 2300

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire – your advice service needs you!

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire has launched a county-wide drive to find committed and enthusiastic volunteers to help people to solve their problems.

We have vacancies for voluntary positions which include providing initial assessments and advice, as well as helping clients with practical tasks, such as budgeting and filling in forms. We also have a number of positions for volunteer administrators, receptionists, and research and campaigners.

We are seeking volunteers for most of our local branches, including Coalville, Narborough, Market Harborough, Oadby & Wigston and Leicester City, where our Adviceline Contact Centre is located.

Jamie, who volunteered in the Adviceline Contact Centre, said:

“The Contact Centre has made a big difference to me. It’s made me more confident personally and it has provided me with lots of opportunities to develop skills at my own pace.

These skills have been vital in helping me secure a career that I want.

As well as gaining vital experience, I’ve met some great people on the way. I would recommend volunteering at the Contact Centre to anyone!”

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, said:

“We currently have over 230 volunteers at Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, people from all ages and backgrounds who have give up their time on a regular basis to help their communities.

We simply could not continue to provide the advice and support that our clients need to overcome their problems without the energy and dedication of our volunteers.

As well as providing vital support for people in their local communities, our volunteers also gain friends, confidence and unique experience that can be hugely beneficial for students and people looking for work.

With a number of challenges on the horizon: including Brexit and full roll-out of Universal Credit in Leicester, Blaby and Oadby & Wigston, I hope that more people will consider joining our friendly and inclusive team at Citizens Advice LeicesterShire.”

Full information about volunteer roles and locations can be found on the Citizens Advice website.

Opportunity to partner with Sea Cadets in NCS Project June/July – Leicester

The Sea Cadets will be hosting their regional phase of the National Citizen Service in Leicester from 28 June – 5 July.  We are looking for charitable causes to pitch to our young people and volunteers to help build their skills, especially from 29 June – 1 July.

Sea Cadets aged 16-17 will be flocking to Leicester from all parts of our Eastern region on Thursday 28 June, following a few days team-building activities in southwest England.  From Fri 29 June until Sun 1 July, they will be working on a range of personal skills and selecting which local charitable cause to work with over the following week.

If you would like to take part, whether as a facilitator or potential partner charity, please contact Development Worker Tom Butterworth:
07867 871906

Beating Stress At Work

Employees across the UK are being increasingly affected by the persistent challenges of working in fast paced, modern organisations and businesses.  The long term effects of managing this, has resulted in a huge increase in health disorders that have often proven to be caused by work related stress.  Stress has largely been identified as a major cause of poor health within companies and, as a result, general and specific stress related illnesses continue to affect many employees disproportionately.

Beating stress at work is a new workshop created to help employees develop the critical skills needed to avoid becoming victims of stress and remain balanced in their collective and individual lifestyles and choices.  It aims to reduce the potential for stress related illnesses and help to create greater well being, health awareness and an opportunity to share common experiences.  This workshop will be especially useful for social and healthcare workers; public administration and defence staff; teaching, business, media and public service professionals; third sector employees and youth & community workers etc.

The Beating stress at work workshop will help you to:

  • Identify exactly what stress is; why it happens and the facts behind its effects on employees.
  • Examine its major causes and symptoms in relation to work.
  • Explore practical solutions to preventing the increase of stress and illnesses in your job.
  • Create a unique personal work stress prevention plan that will change your life.Network; share tips, hints and good practice with other stress busters’!

A dynamic presentation, unique narratives and active learning exercises will be used throughout to make it a truly valuable learning experience. The workshop is entirely ‘on site friendly’, meaning the workshop can be brought to your community group at your request.

Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation hosts an information and wellness event

The Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation invites you to attend an informative support and wellbeing event on Wednesday 25th July from 10.00am – 3.00pm at Ulverscroft Activity Centre, Priory Lane, Ulverscroft, Leicestershire, LE67 9PH 

Helen Baxter, Activities Coordinator at the Foundation said ‘We are delighted to be hosting an information and wellness event in the Activity Centre in July. We have a number of local and nationwide organisations attending, to provide information to anyone that may be in need of support or advice.’ She added ‘the Foundation prides itself on providing inclusive and supportive services to the community and our vision is for anyone with an illness or disability, the elderly and young people to have the opportunity to get the most out of their lives. Light refreshments will be available for a small charge, admission is on a drop in basis and entry is FREE!’ 

For more details regarding the event and organisations attending please call Helen Baxter on 01530 244914 or email

PCC Secures ‘Inspirational’ Continuity at the Top for Leicestershire Police

Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), is the first PCC to award a five-year extension to a Chief Constable’s contract when the Chief Constable has already been in post for the past eight years.

Willy Bach wanted to secure the services of the man he describes as an ‘Inspirational Chief Constable’, Simon Cole QPM, for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  The move will ensure continuity of leadership in what is acknowledged as a challenging period for policing. 

The Commissioner will inform members of the Police and Crime Panel, at a meeting on Friday 8 June, of his decision which will see Mr Cole assured of five consecutive annual contract renewals.  It is believed this is the first time the Regulations have been used in this way.

Simon Cole was appointed Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police in 2010 on a five-year contract.  In 2015 he was offered a three-year contract extension by the then Police and Crime Commissioner, which comes to an end in June 2018.

The Regulations state that after the three-year extension a Commissioner can only offer extensions to contract to a Chief Constable on a yearly basis.  However, there is nothing in legislation preventing any specific number of consecutive one-year contracts to be offered – and accepted. 

Keen to retain Leicestershire’s highly respected Chief Constable Willy Bach therefore decided to offer Mr Cole five consecutive 12-month extensions to his contract. 

Policing Minister RT Hon Nick Hurd MP confirmed that this was perfectly permissible when he wrote to the Commissioner to say:

“….. the Government believes in importance of local accountability in policing and locally-driven priorities.  The appointment or extensions of an appointment for the Chief Constable is properly your decision”.

Willy Bach said:

“This is good news for the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  It removes uncertainty, brings continuity of leadership in times of challenge and change, and enables future planning to be undertaken with confidence.

Simon Cole has proved himself an exceptional leader and it is absurd that I cannot offer someone who has proven himself time and again, a five-year contract. However, we have checked and there is nothing to prevent me from offering five one-year contracts.

Simon is, quite frankly, an inspirational Chief Constable, respected throughout the force, my own office, our many partners and indeed across the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. 

Not only has he steered Leicestershire Police safely through some choppy waters in order to meet the harsh savings targets resulting from austerity measures, but he has overseen a significant and effective change programme modernising the way in which the force delivers police services.  He is also a strong champion of diversity and is determined that the police should be representative of the many communities it serves.”

Simon Cole added:

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue to lead the force into the future. I am very proud of the officers, staff and volunteers with whom I am lucky to serve. Their commitment, innovation and sheer hard work make a positive difference in local communities every day.

Policing is always changing to meet new challenges and looking ahead that includes the omnipresence of cybercrime, the reduction in police budgets at a time of a growing population, and the need to continue to deal with those who cause the most harm, whether through acquisitive crime, domestic abuse, or online offences.

I look forward to working with partners to ensure that we continue to protect the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”

NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to publish ‘Next Steps for Better Care Together’ in July

The NHS organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) have confirmed that during July they will mark the 70th year of the NHS by publishing a document setting out the Next Steps for Better Care Together in the local area.

Back in November 2016 the local NHS organisations published draft proposals to improve health services for patients in our area. That was as part of a national initiative to produce what were called Sustainability and Transformation Plans (or STPs for short) for 44 areas across the country. 

Known locally as Better Care Together, we engaged with local people and staff on these draft proposals. The overall direction of improving care quality and safety while integrating services by breaking down artificial organisational barriers was welcomed.  However people told us they had concerns about the number of hospital beds and the capacity of general practice and community services in particular to support the new service models. 

Since then national policy has refocused these STPs, moving the emphasis on from being about producing plans to concentrating on ongoing partnership working to improve services and care for patients through more integrated care in local places.  In some parts of the country, STPs have moved on to now be referred to as Integrated Care Systems (or ICSs for short), and it is NHS England expectation that all STPs will move towards this more integrated model, of commissioners and providers working together for patients in local places.

Whatever acronym is used, locally the NHS partners in Better Care Together have taken forward a significant amount of work over this 18 month period.  We’ve launched an enhanced NHS111 service which provides more access to clinicians.  We have also secured funding for priority areas like cancer, mental health and diabetes, as well as capital funding for new hospital facilities. We’ve also started changing the way that the NHS organisations work together, so that we operate more as one team working for the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in a less fragmented way.

However, the last 18 months have also seen local NHS finances and performance stressed in many services and organisations, particularly over what was one of the most pressurised winters for many years.

Nationally, the Government has recognised the pressure local NHS services are under – and so we welcomed the announcement in March this year to develop a long-term plan and funding settlement for the NHS over the next 5-10 years.  It is widely expected that there will be a national announcement in the coming weeks followed later in the year by a more detailed plan on what the NHS can – and can’t – do for any increased level of funding.

Set against this context, the local NHS partners have decided that our Better Care Together partnership needs to continue its ongoing work to improve care for patients. But we’ve also decided that now is not the time to produce a detailed long-term ‘blueprint’ for all NHS services by creating a ‘final’ version of our original STP plan.  This is because the outcome of the national funding review could have a direct and significant impact on what it is possible to afford – and therefore some of the choices that we may need to make.  

In the meantime we do think it is important to update local people and partners on the work that is being done by the Better Care Together partners. This is why we have decided to publish the Next Steps document.

The Next Steps publication will:

  • provide an update on the progress we have already made to deliver high quality, sustainable services, such as the new NHS111 clinical triage service which uses clinicians to provide advice and guidance to patients over the phone
  • set out our refreshed strategic direction which responds to the feedback on our initial proposals and the actual experience of services
  • summarises our plans for our priority areas like cancer, mental health and general practice
  • explain how we are working together across NHS organisations, and in partnership with others, in a more integrated way that is focused on doing the right thing for local people not necessarily individual organisations  
  • be open about those areas where we are still doing ongoing work to develop care models and the implications of these for local services, for example some community services and hospitals. 

One of the key elements that our draft STP proposals focused on in 2016 was the need for improvement in our NHS buildings.  We’ve already had some success in securing £48 million for the new A&E department at Leicester Royal Infirmary as well as commitment of around £2 million for improvements to general practice premises.  Last year we also secured £8 million for a purpose-built ward for children and young people with a focus on eating disorders and £30 million for new intensive care units and a new ward at Glenfield Hospital.

However, work continues on business cases totalling more than £350 million for the configuration of services provided by University Hospitals of Leicester, maternity services, and some community hospitals. We will be applying for national funding in July to support these schemes and, if successful, under national NHS capital guidance we will then be able to undertake formal public consultation, on some of our proposals, as early as the end of this year and on others in 2019. 

With so much happening across the work of the Better Care Together Partnership, we are also taking the opportunity over the summer to review our local leadership and governance arrangements to make sure that these are effective going forward. This is important for overseeing our improvement programme and supporting delivery of improvements to front line services for patients.

If you would like more information on the work of our BCT Partnership, visit and subscribe to our mailing list to receive future information about the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Better Care Together Partnership.