The Design for Life scheme was developed to enable residents to enhance their basic and general skills through a programme of accredited and non-accredited training, activities, information and advice, in order to improve employability and sustain self-sufficiency once residents move on into alternative accommodation.
Situated on the ground floor of Arthur Sansom House (ASH) next to the YMCA, the facility consists of two training and communication rooms and a kitchen.
The centre provides internet access for all YMCA residents and a fully equipped training room. The centre is staffed by a full-time Advice and Activities Worker who provides advice on a range of issues and organises/facilitates high and low impact activities, including: football training, snooker, film and quiz sessions and local interest outings – and an Advice and Development Worker who organises basic skills development sessions including: Learn Direct, literacy and numeracy, career development workshops, digital storytelling, job searches and applications/CV writing.
Addressing ‘Basic Skills’ in literacy and numeracy is very much a key factor of this service and the informal and familiar surroundings enable residents to ‘test the water’ in a range of activities and learning opportunities.
Although DFL is a scheme that residents can access informally and voluntarily, the project is extremely popular with typically 45% of hostel users accessing the scheme every week.