Changing Futures

Lancashire’s Changing Futures project was delivered exclusively by social enterprises and community organisations. As Lancashire’s social enterprise network, we are proud to have led this specialist partnership whose work has transformed the lives of the most excluded and disadvantaged people across Lancashire.

This project began its work in 2017. Following two extensions the delivery continued until March 2023 and is now closed. Over 7 years, this project brought a total of £7.15M into Lancashire (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund).

The Changing Futures project was focussed on supporting people facing multiple and complex barriers to employment. All participants were unemployed or economically inactive and at high risk of social exclusion, such as people from BAME communities, people with physical or mental health problems and people with learning difficulties.



Through the Changing Futures project, our partners worked with each participant as an individual. Our Transformational Coaches helped each participant to understand their own abilities, skills and interests to identify ways to help address their multiple barriers to economic activity. Participation in support through the Changing Futures project was voluntary, free to access and did not affect rights to benefits.

The Changing Futures project had the target to support 2370 people over the lifetime of the project to overcome multiple and complex barriers and move closer to employment, education or training. This project was delivered exclusively by social enterprises and community organisations and we are proud to be part this specialist partnership whose work transformed lives across Lancashire. Hear from some of the people involved in this short film.


Jane’s Story

Before having support from the Changing Futures Project, Jane was unemployed and struggling with multiple barriers, including out of date skills (particularly with IT), ill health, depression and debt problems. Her Transformational Coach worked with her to tackle each one.


‘Job Search’ statistics show outcomes from a comprehensive journey:

Each participant included in our formal project targets of ‘Job Search’ had reached a key milestone from a comprehensive journey. A raft of interventions were enabled for participants who were ‘furthest from the labour market’ and held back by complex circumstances – including domestic violence, housing instability, physical disabilities, mental health barriers, debt, PTSD, addictions and chaotic lifestyles.

The wide variety of skills and experience of Changing Futures project partner staff teams enabled direct support to be tailored for individual participants. From their work to overcome challenges, participants could look ahead towards a fresh start, based on their interests: through coaching and mentoring, developing personal skills and building self-confidence, attending training courses and building qualifications and developing their CVs – altogether enabling participants to be able – and willing – to actively search and apply for jobs.


Additional Outcomes through Changing Futures


Changing Futures in Action:

Here are some of our participant’s journeys through this project:


The Changing Futures project was part of the nationwide Building Better Opportunities programme to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in England. The Building Better Opportunities programme was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.