Here is a selection of our latest training and community programmes for residents in Halton.
Why not contact us to find out more on 01928 592742 or 07392 683385.
All of these programmes are FREE.


Runcorn Digital Hub – Castlefields Community Centre

ESF / Liverpool City Region - WEA
October 2021 – Current

To prepare and equip disadvantaged participants for the new ‘normal’, tackling the digital divide and new/emerging barriers arising from the impact of C-19, such residents as lone parents/women, people aged over 55, people with disabilities and health conditions, long-term unemployed and economically inactive people. Motivational, resilience tools and connection to learning experiences for vulnerable participants whose health and well-being and prospects for future employability are compromised by the pandemic.

The Runcorn Digital Hub (TRDH) offers a new approach to tackling the digital divide. Three modules, (Motivational Tools Post C-19 Lockdown Recovery and Resilience / Financial Capability & Welfare Benefit Awareness / Digital Hub, Employability, Journey to a Job & Digital Inclusion is social inclusion) delivered over 24 weeks offer a structured learning programme

TRDH is a practical, holistic programme delivered through tutor presentations, mentoring exercises, case-studies, group discussions, instructional games, and thematic quizzes, gradually building-up a portfolio.

The project aims to improve confidence/motivation/social integration and facilitate ‘softer’ skills development, whilst increase personal/economic resilience and employability of vulnerable people

By the end of the project participants will have a comprehensive pack of learning materials/resources and updated CV’s, etc

All learning will be flexible to suit individual participant’s ability / pace. Internal certificates will be awarded for high attendance, participation and achievement

The whole project is designed so that it can be delivered face to face or virtually with e-learning session. We have selected a large room and reduced participant numbers to enable social distancing.


Runcorn Digital Hub – Asda Runcorn Store

Asda Foundation
November 2021 – January 2022


  • Those unemployed referred by Runcorn Job Centre Plus
  • Single parents who are registered with Open 360
  • Residents who are isolated and the over 55’s who have often lacked confidence to venture out and engage with others in the community

  • Project Modules

    • Switching on a computer, keyboard basics & using the mouse
    • What is a search engine, how to select a search engine & navigating a search engine
    • Navigating Universal Credit online
    • Creating email address/account & sending/receive emails
    • Attaching Documents & using a USB Flash Drive (Dongle)
    • Word Processing, excel spreadsheets & powerpoint presentation
    • Knowledge of Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest for Leisure use
    • Knowledge of Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams for Video Meetings with friends/loved ones or to help children /grandchildren for school work
    • Awareness of being safe on the Internet
    • Using a mobile phone / smart phones, tablets, iPads or android

    Project Resources

    • Via online portal Learn My Way this will allow them to have full interaction with their learning
    • Participants will be part of groups in their learning journey as well as 1-2-1 support as and when required


Runcorn Digital Hub – Tackling the Digital Divide
National Lottery Fund / Awards for All October 2021 – Current

  • Open 360 in collaboration with Runcorn Community Shop delivering a pilot Digital Inclusion Hub to equip socially-isolated and digitally-marginalised people with basic digital skills, including improved self-confidence, motivation and practical understanding of how to use these skills, as we focus on two significant socio-economic barriers for many disadvantaged people, digital exclusion and food poverty
  • The Hub is helping residents in the everyday use of common digital devices (laptops, tablets, androids & smart-phones), as well as navigating digital tools (internet, online payments, benefits systems etc.) 
  • Experienced trainers are supporting participants in applying newly-developed digital skills to assist in job-searches, CV-and-application writing and online interviews
  • Provision of free nutritious meals for all participants, as we contribute towards the tackling of food poverty and digital exclusion


Covid-19 Life in the New Normal Project

ESF / Liverpool City Region - WEA
May – August 2021

Project to tackle new and emerging barriers arising from the impact of C-19 by maintaining (through a programme of flexible, responsive activities) the personal motivation, resilience and connection to learning experiences of vulnerable participants whose mental-health, physical well-being and prospects for future employability are especially compromised by the current pandemic.

Laptop/Wi-Fi Loan Support

This initiative to tackle a key barrier emerging from the pandemic - lack of connectivity among disadvantaged, vulnerable, isolated groups denied access to IT/online opportunities/support/training/information. The scheme will enable IT skills training/job-search, plus the option for home-schooling if further C-19 restrictions prevail. 60% of participants without home laptop/computer/Wi-Fi resource are single parents The project will enable older participants to mentor younger/less experienced participants to improve self-belief/self-esteem including sharing life-experiences (i.e.. mutual peer support/befriending). Younger participants will ‘skill swap’ IT/social media techniques to improve skills amongst older participants

Motivational Tools Module – Post C-19/Lockdown Recovery and Resilience

Practical toolkits (exercises/group-activities)utilised in establishing daily routines/setting individual achievement goals, applying DREAM approach (Dedication-Responsibility-Education-Attitude-Motivation) to learning; several modules delivered confidence-building, social integration and SOAR principle (Strengths-Opportunities-Aspirations-Results)

Health and Wellbeing Post-C-19 Module

Structured module tackling psychological barriers to work emerging from the pandemic; also signposting to additional psychological therapies for those presenting mild-to-moderate mental health conditions. Therapeutic interventions (mindfulness/meditation/self-energy) helping participants overcome/manage health conditions, enabling them to improve employment prospects through simple, effective tools/techniques.

Financial Capability and Welfare Benefit Awareness Module

In anticipation of economic downturn/financial uncertainty/rising cost of living post-C-19 this intervention tackles practical barriers - debt and wellbeing, budget awareness, greater caring responsibilities (e.g., those shielding). Participants learned practical money management/budgeting skills, income-and-expenditure planning, debt-awareness, personal budgeting etc. using ‘spending diaries’/future financial planning techniques. To complement above, participants were taught up-to-date Universal Credit/welfare benefit rules/opportunities, how to navigate terminology, myth-busting approaches, effective use of online UC accounts

Employment and Future Prosperity (‘The New Normal’)

  • Community-Led Job Club – Job Brokering, identifying skills/experience to match vacancies, creating online profiles to receive job notifications, publicising CVs (employers/recruiters); 1-2-1 bespoke support/job specs/interview preparation; free access to mobile-phone in every session (contact employers/recruiters); selected local employers/recruiters offering role-based opportunities (Cleaning, Retail, Warehousing, Care Work) invited to Job Brokering Activities, all participants got an interview-guarantee. (NB: all the above based on face-to-face but we were prepared to deliver remotely had restrictions prevailed
  • Basic Computer Learning – activities to improve digital skills post-lockdown for people seeking employment in jobs markets increasingly remote/online. These skills helped participants develop e-applications/navigate job search websites etc.  
  • Employability Module – welfare reform guidance, good CV design, use of social media (LinkedIn & Facebook platforms) to gain employment, (creating effective profiles/accounts), identifying/evaluating suitable job sources and effective skills-matching, interview preparation and good practice/role-playing, peer-feedback (evaluating/improving performance/techniques), personal strengths/weaknesses in readiness for work placement/employment, work-skills training around teamwork, time-keeping and communication skills using task-and-complete and problem-solving – all part of ‘job-journey’ planning into work


Hallwood Park and Palace Fields Covid-19 Emergency & Recovery Project

Riverside Group July – November 2020

Phase One – Emergency Actions

  • Our Contact Care Centre provided a friendly and approachable 1-2-1 telephone support service for participants
  • Laptop & Wi-Fi Loan Support was set up in the light of the challenges coronavirus was creating for vulnerable and isolated participants, we loaned out laptops to enable participants to have full access to, and be able to self-navigate, online and interactive training in tandem with the loaning of MiFi devices within households to access internet facilities
  • Organised volunteer Support, we managed a safe and structured volunteer programme. Volunteers being part of the essential shopping, medication collection and delivery team, also delivering weekly lunch meal deals to all participants who logged in to the e-learning sessions. The programme also provided additional development and mentoring opportunities as part of a potential pathway to future projects (post-Covid-19)
  • We offered remote engagement and e-Learning, there was additional online e-learning and motivational presentations for participants per session based on modifications of our core activity programme (driven by the Covid-19 emergency)

Phase Two – Recovery, Wellbeing and Resilience Actions

Project Activities included:

  • Motivational Programme supporting positive mind-sets, confidence building, resilience and reassurance tools for participants facing increased challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and based on modification of our core activities
  • Hints and tips on health & wellbeing, signposting to NHS information and local organisations who are specialists, for participants facing increased challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and based on modification of our core activities
  • Bereavement and Unemployment support, for loss of loved ones, (including signposting for counselling) help for participants who have lost jobs and support for those who have lost businesses, and who are particularly at risk from the impact of Covid-19

Phase Three – Employment and Future Prosperity Action

Project Activities included:

  • Community led Job Club had provided critical employability and new/re-start business support for participants directly affected by Covid-19
  • Community Learning Programme provided support for essential skills, re-training, personal development, upskilling and diversification of skills for participants directly affected by Covid-19 and based on modification of our core activities, where appropriate 
  • Financial capability support provided, alongside guidance and advice, about the current benefits system, status of Universal Credits, myths and jargon busting and other personal financial management support to help individuals and families recover in the aftermath of Covid-19


Covid-19 Emergency Service

Steve Morgan Foundation April – June 2020
Direct practical assistance and support (assisted by local dedicated volunteers of all ages) to vulnerable, solitary and isolated local people to help them sustain their mental and physical engagement with their community

  • We sustained a popular on-going Community Learning Project (through remote e-delivery) that included support for participants to develop new skills and greater self-confidence
  • Have a disability or Health condition
  • There was support for participants to work towards achieving their full potential, improved health and wellbeing, improve intergenerational segregation
  • Participants were kept involved in the loop with regards the use of digital communication and safe social media outlets

Liverpool City Region April – Aug 2020

Project Activities included:

  • Staff working from home linked electronically to a centrally co-ordinated Plan of Action
  • Participants from previous engagement projects (e.g., single young mums, LTU adults, NEETS etc.) who were self-isolating had support with regular phone-calls, checks on their health and wellbeing
  • We ensured that they had adequate supplies of medication, arrangements were made for critical & essential shopping rounds along with safe home-delivery support
  • There was continued personal development, educational and training-needs supported (on remote, one-to-one basis) for current and former participants


Moving Barriers in Runcorn Project – Runcorn

Free twenty eight week programme for unemployed Participants living in Runcorn who:

  • Are in Recovery
  • Have a disability or Health condition
  • Are a woman
  • Are Single Parents
  • 50 years of age or over
  • Are of Ethnic Minority
  • Are 15 years of age or over and not in education, training or employment

Participants have the opportunity to get motivational and confidence building support, health & wellbeing advice, guidance with relaxation and stress busting techniques. Activities for personal grooming, with hands, face, body and hair care free treatments. Growing their own healthy vegetables, salads and herbs with gardening tips and hints. Also during the project help, advice & guidance on money management, budgeting, income and expenditure, with help and support on Universal Credits. There will be training on basic computer skills, support with CV’s, Cover Letters, Job Searches, job applications, and Interview Skills training.


DWP Universal Credit in Work Progression Training – Widnes & Runcorn areas

Thirteen week programme for DWP local Job Centre Plus in Widnes and Runcorn areas, focusing on delivering a package of support to Universal Credits claimants in Halton working part-time to enable them in increasing their hours of employment by:

  • Initial identification of barriers that prevent increase of hours and seek a solution
  • Engaging with employers
  • Motivational sessions
  • Are Single Parents
  • Myth busting on and awareness of Universal Credits
  • Digital support and Social Media awareness
  • Job Brokering sessions


Halebank Youth Club Community Learning Project – Widnes

This twelve month programme designed to suit the local community’s needs. With the provision of basic IT skills training (from switching on a computer and using the mouse, keyboard to creating CV’s, registering on Universal Job Match and an e-mail address). Also there is support with understanding Universal Credits, job searches, applications and Interview Skill & techniques.

The project includes Money Management & Budgeting advice & guidance, dealing with debt, its impact on wellbeing. In addition to this, there will be information on healthy routines, looking at balanced diets, five a day, regular exercise, and stress busters.

There will be training in personal care and grooming in line with motivation towards greater confidence and self -belief in a professional hair and beauty salon. When discussing healthy eating, there will be complementary sessions on planting and growing your own vegetables, salads and herbs.


Open 360 Modern Job Search Work Clubs – Widnes & Runcorn areas

Helping Participants to learn how to use a computer or improve their IT Skills, acquire an e-mail address, compile or update C.V’s, register on Universal Job Match, search and apply for job vacancies, train on and practise Interviewing skills & techniques, understanding Universal Credits, real life stories of other job seekers, videos and examples of how best to cope with the journey to a job. With access to a laptop, each Participant has access to all the following free; internet access, stationery to help apply for jobs, USB memory sticks to save job searches and applications, documents printing & photocopying, mobile phone to call Job Centre Plus and companies about work related matters.

The current Open 360 Job Club is running every Tuesday at St Andrews Church, Grangeway, Runcorn. 10:30am – 12:30pm

Widnes Job Centre Plus; conducted a thirteen week voluntary Modern Job Search Work Club with 24 claimants referred of which 25% secured employment in that period, 5% of the jobs were zero hour contracts and one was an initial work trial

Grangeway Community Centre, Runcorn; we initiated, designed and facilitated Job Club in partnership with Halton Housing Trust

Murdishaw Community Centre, Runcorn; we initiated, designed and facilitated Job Club in partnership with Riverside Housing and Liverpool Housing Trust

Halton Brook Community Centre, Runcorn; we initiated, designed and developed the twenty four week Community Led Job Club project in partnership with Four Estates Charity. This an opportunity for unemployed Participants to gain a qualification, whilst being supported in looking for jobs. There were vocational activities in Beauty Facials, Jewellery & Cards Making, Arts & Crafts, DIY, Landscape Gardening and Creative Media.

Talent Match Big Lottery Programme - Halton Young Mums Motivated to Work Project - Runcorn & Widnes areas

This is specifically for young mothers, who will have access to intensive mentoring and holistic support for those aged between 18 and 24 years old. The programme will support Young People to explore the areas of employment, self-enterprise, further education or training, and volunteering. It aims to improve confidence, motivation, self-esteem and work skills with the overall objective being to assist young mothers to realise their potential and achieve their aspirational goals.

We are working in partnership with Merseyside Youth Association, Merseyside Youth Fed, Halton Borough Council Young People Team, Runcorn & Widnes Job Centre Plus, Widnes Vikings and Halton Family Nurse Partnership.

We are working with Young People and Employers to provide access to opportunities, which could include work placements and mock interviews that will assist with the development of work skills and practical employment experience. Upon completion of the programme Young People will continue to receive mentoring assistance and support them with their achievement of aspirational goals. If progressing to employment there will be a period of continued support by the Mentor to ensure the transition to employment is smooth.

DWP – ‘’This is My time’’ Programme – Runcorn & Widnes Job Centre Plus

Open 360 commissioned to deliver a package of support to 60 Income Support Participants in Runcorn & Widnes areas for Lone Parents and Carers, over a 6 week programme. The priority here was to assist the claimants into jobs, closer to the jobs market and provide work experience / volunteering opportunities.

  • We started the sessions with motivational aspects to improve self-esteem and increase confidence in tandem with personal care, health and hygiene.
  • We featured modules on the importance and impact of debt, money management and the onslaught of Universal Credit.
  • The programme included employability skills in assisting the claimants to realise their potential and achieve their aspirational goals. We supported the claimants through basic computer skills, CV’s, Cover Letters, Job Search, Job Applications and Interview support.

Programme Outcomes
The following was reported and acknowledged:

  • We assisted the claimants to overcome personal hygiene, confidence and basic computing barriers to move closer to the Labour Market.
  • We assisted the claimants to overcome employability skills barriers and progress into employment. (total of 30% of programme completes)

DWP – ‘’Now is the time’’ Programme – Widnes & Runcorn areas

We are delivering a 13 week programme on behalf of DWP Merseyside District covering Halton (Widnes & Runcorn).

The programme is to support Job Seekers to move closer to the labour market or into employment by delivering modules to improve confidence, motivation, aspirations, and employability skills. Our modules will incorporate the importance and impact of personal health and presentation in making a positive transition to the world of work.

We will also to include a period of work experience or work placement that can be included in the Participants C.V, we are partnering with local organisations; Riverside College, Runcorn Shopping Centre Management, Halton Business Connectors and Halton Borough Council Employment Learning & Skills Division.

supporters logos

supporters logos