Date: 01 Jan 2002
Area where based: Manchester
Outline of Project:
Outlook provides opportunities for adults (19+) in Manchester to discover new talents, skills and activities and explore employment and training options. The service is for people who are in drug treatment, on a reduction programme or recently detoxed from drugs and who are ready to make changes. Service users will have a measure of stability and a commitment to move forward.
Outlook receives referrals from: GPs, Manchester Drug Service, housing associations, police, job centre, hostels or self-referrals.
The project offers a range of services along with one-one support where service users are encouraged to develop an action plan drawn up with an Outlook caseworker to address their needs and interests.
A key part of Outlook's current programme in partnership with Manchester College is the opportunity for service users to study for an NVQ 2 + 3 in Health & Social Care. Service users are given the chance to apply to become a Graduate Member, which entails attending Manchester College 1 day per week, working towards core competencies with additional literacy and numeracy courses running concurrently for those requiring further support.
They would also attend a 1-day per week placement at Outlook to gain real working practice. Some classes take place at Outlook and some at Manchester College. Service users applying undertake a full recruitment process as part of their learning experience.
In addition to college work Outlook hold 4 training sessions that mirrors the work being done in college. This gives graduate members confidence in their skills, enabling them to participate more fully in discussions and workshops in college with mainstream students.
There is no strict time limit on how long a member can receive services from Outlook, although on average members stay with the project for 12 - 18 months. The full time key workers operate a maximum caseload of 25 members at any one time. This ensures that, as they are on site Monday to Friday, they are usually able to be available if members need ad hoc support.
A project worker describes Outlook as being like a cherry tree for its members - the members can pick what they want from the tree, when they want it.
Aims and Objectives:
Outlook aims to provide a safe, flexible, accessible and secure environment enabling people to move on to mainstream education and employment despite personal barriers and social exclusion.
Outlook aims to provide its members with:
• support into education, training or employment if appropriate;
• personal development opportunities;
• support around relapse prevention;
• confidence building, self-esteem and motivation.
Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol 7 Issue 4 - December 2007
A project description of Outlook
Ian Paylor (Senior Lecturer) and Alison Wilson (research associate) at Lancaster University wrote a positive account of the Outlook project for Drugs and Alcohol Today. The article concludes:
"Outlook provides service users with a unique opportunity to create a fresh start in life and rediscover themselves through a range of positive experiences and subtle but constructive support methods, constantly reviewed and updated to ensure service provision is continually effective."
Adult Service User Focus Group February 08
A service user said, “I found the assessment very helpful, it’s useful to go through key issues and they can signpost you to other services.”
Date Added: 09 Jun 2010