Creatively Changing Lives

Directions Project


The Directions project is a 3year programme across Merseyside run through a dynamic range of organisations supporting people into employment. The Lead for the programme is The Women’s Organisation and the project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). SOLA is one of the numerous partners active in the consortium to make a positive social change through routes into employability and employment in the region.



A wrap-around service for adults (18+ years old) predominantly but not exclusively from the refugee community in Liverpool and the city region, where mental health needs or social isolation are dominating factors resulting in economic inactivity or unemployment.



To enable the people to develop self-confidence, social and language skills, explore skills and talents and find their direction and motivation for career development through specialist mental health support and mentoring, creativity and enterprise.



We support people on a journey from point of crisis or need, through empowerment and opportunity to have confidence and self-agency to progress.  We will enable people who are not currently engaged in the work place or in employability opportunities before to develop self-confidence and self-value through which they can explore their identities into employability or move forward in their career path.



Taking people through a culturally sensitive and supportive programme that involves a staged process to assess needs for therapeutic intervention, tailored social & development or mentoring support through to skills development and enterprise or employability. We use creativity as the basis for our work, enhanced by a range of other approaches taking all the person's needs into account.



The project supports from a holistic approach, taking into account personal and domestic needs. This is particularly important for people who may not have experienced working outside of the home before, or may not have had opportunity to progress into employment post education. This may also be for example due to mainstream working environments having been experienced as unempathetic to the individuals needs around alternative and tailored working patterns.



The creative industries is empathetic to flexible working patterns and creative ways of career development through recognising and appreciating an individual’s diversity and appreciating our unique qualities. There is recognition by this sector for the need for this to be represented in the workplace. This is why we have focused on supporting people through creative & cultural career development within the Directions programme.



We provide a full-time programme of support and moving on involving; specialist psychological support through Art Psychotherapy and therapeutic interventions to support people living with mental health difficulties or needing a space to work with complex decision making about reshaping their identity and having autonomy.


Tailored social & development support; including advocacy and empowerment to navigate through social systems and have self-agency to address essential needs in daily life eg. housing, finding external educational/volunteering or social inclusion opportunities, childcare needs, travel support, etc.


Mentoring for groups and individuals are creative ways of employability and finding an identity as a working person within a new socio-economic and cultural- environments and/or family context.


Volunteering placements in-house (financial budgeting and accounting, administration, project development & evaluation, etc.


Skills development; language development inherent in all activities, social skills, creative skills, leadership and facilitation, etc


Enterprise and employment; becoming self-employed or setting up a group/their own social enterprises within a creative context, from the different city region hubs.

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