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Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE

Let’s Talk – Positive Steps With Partners

Community Justice Ayrshire are championing the efforts of the third sector across Ayrshire.

We want to highlight the positive difference the sector is making in people’s lives and in our communities.  We also want people to understand the importance of their role in community justice and reducing re-offending.

We hope this information will raise awareness of the importance of third sector services and highlight some of the important work undertaken in our communities.

Today we shine the spotlight on Positive Steps With Partners.

What is Positive Steps with Partners

Part of North Ayrshire’s Employability Partnership, Positive Steps With Partners is an employability programme delivered by The Ayrshire Community Trust.

The programme works to support long term unemployed people of North Ayrshire. Increasing their motivation and confidence levels through the delivery of a Person-Centred training programme and through volunteer work placement opportunities.

The programme aims to support people to progress to positive destinations, training, volunteering, higher education, and employment.  Volunteer placements have been limited but the team have been able to offer placements to individuals as and when opportunities arise, ensuring all safety measures are followed.  Due to Covid-19 the number of placements available are limited.

Programme of Work

Prior to the pandemic the programme was delivered in person over a four-week period, thereafter people progressed into a placement.

Positive Steps Flyer 2020

During the pandemic the team worked hard to adapt the programme as much as possible to meet the needs of the people involved.   The team set out to create short video clips highlighting the work they undertake and providing details on how to refer into the service which were then posted on The Ayrshire Community Trust social media pages.

Following the success of securing funding to purchase tablets and data packs, staff were able to support people involved in the programme with no means of accessing equipment or internet at home.   The team worked closely with CEIS Ayrshire and as a result were able to support 100 individuals receive a digital device which enabled them to engage with online employability activities.

The following sessions were adapted and delivered virtually:

Introductory Get to Know You session – Meet via zoom to introduce the team and talk about individual expectations and aspirations.

Comfort Zone Session – Introducing comfort zones and how it’s important to stretch those comfort zones in order to set realistic and achievable goals for the future.

Camera/Walking Club – Adapting our health walks to a camera club, encourages participants to get out walking and we set a theme each week for participants to take photos of and send them in. We then meet weekly via zoom to have a slide show of the photos and discuss how we felt when we were out taking the photos.

Goal Setting – One to One sessions identifying and setting realistic and achievable personal goals.

Family Fun Fridays – While parents were home-schooling we created Fun Fridays for our participants and their children to get involved in some fun learning together. 

Cooking on a Budget – 4 week course learning to cook a meal for four on a tight budget.

Grow Your Own – We have created a grow your own box for participants to sow seeds at home and learn about growing fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Life Coaching Sessions – One to One via zoom or telephone, participants have the opportunity to have these sessions focusing on personal and professional goals.

“The companionship was the biggest thing I took from Positive Steps… and learning to cook tikka masala”

“Cooking on a budget allowed a group of us to connect weekly”

Most people engaged with the programme managed online without any major difficulties. The team were initially on hand to support people who needed help getting online by providing a device and some tuition on how to use the device and access digital platforms.

Following completion of the programme and because of the partnership working between the employability projects in North Ayrshire, the team have supported people to move into full time employment.

“Times are difficult and ppls mental health are being affected in many different ways, programmes like Positive Steps I feel are essential in trying to alleviate the symptoms that come with poor mental health etc.”

“The life coach was a wonderful person to speak to, she made me feel completely at ease and reminded me how far id come in a short space of time and how proud I should feel in my achievements.”

“The Positive Steps programme is in my eyes an amazing opportunity for ppl to connect with others, build up confidence and enhance they’re mental health, physical health (out on our walks) and emotional wellbeing.”

Referral Process

The project is open to any North Ayrshire resident who is long term unemployed and face multiple barriers to employment.

The programme is a perfect stepping stone for people looking to explore their employability options.

There is a referral form for local partners and for people interested in taking part they can get in touch with The Positive Steps With Partners team by calling 01294 443044 or email

Referral Form