Positive Choices, changing lives

For Youth, Unemployed, Workplaces, Schools

Positive Choices, changing lives

For Youth, Unemployed, Workplaces, Schools

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring is provided throughout the choices programmes, delivered in a non-judgemental open environment, with high calibre trainers, coaches and mentors, normally run on two days a week for five weeks. The benefits from our blended learning approach are:

  1.  More Self-esteem where participants fundamentally change the way they see themselves. Every exercise takes participants through a process that increases their self-worth in a subtle way so that by the end of the course they are able to report an increased level of self-esteem. This increases their motivation to achieve goals in many aspects of their lives including improving family relationships and friendships, becoming more active in leisure pursuits, and contributing more to society generally.
  2. More Confidence because they analyse and then are able to recognise their skills and strengths which they were not previously aware of. This is often a life-changing moment for them as they identify transferable skill giving them direction and new pathways.
  3. Job Search Goals: They recognise what are the most effective job search methods which is not what they previously thought. They tie that together with strength and skills statements helping them to create a personal profile that enables them to sell themselves.
  4. Less depressed: They learn coping strategies to manage negative thoughts. Coming on the course itself gives them momentum making them more active which also raises their mood. They arrive quiet and sometimes negative and finish with an appetite for an active structure in their lives. We also learn how to find and maintain healthier core beliefs and manage future negative thinking. This has a significant impact on the five main functioning areas, i.e. physical, behavioural, emotional, life purpose, positive thinking.
  5. Less anxious: Facing their fears through attending a structure programme in a safe environment. Facing their anxiety helps it to diminish and become more manageable. Articulating their deepest fears in a group setting, externalises their anxiety and it therefore becomes less threatening and debilitating.

Choices courses

Choices is an innovative intervention not offered elsewhere in Hampshire and is unparalleled in terms of its effectiveness and reach to those that have not benefitted from other programmes and interventions on offer

We currently run Choices programmes for:
Adults 18-65 who are long term unemployed and face multiple barriers to employment training and community involvement, particularly depression and anxiety (affecting 1 in 5 adults).
Young people 16-25 who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
Teenagers aged 13-16 with mental health issues who struggle to attend or engage with school

Choices, as the SAFE initiative is called, is a group intervention which ranges from an in-depth 13-day vocational/mental health programme, giving 80 hours of group training, to a 3-day intensive psychological programme. Starting at 10am – 3pm held in local community halls and churches.

The courses help participants overcome the psychological barriers which stop them moving forward in life, tackling the roots causes of anxiety and depression. They also help people discover their skills, strengths and passions encouraging them to set life goals with new found resilience to bring about permanent change, better health and employability. Through the programme participants develop the self-belief and confidence to take control and change their lives for the better.

We take a skills-based educational approach which empowers the candidate to help themselves post-course. It consists of being introduced to techniques that can be used to tackle issues such as negative thinking, and practising using them, with the assistance of a facilitator. We provide candidates with an engaging, high-quality manual where they can remind themselves of their journey and ongoing work that they do at home to embed the learning. The focus is tackling and solving problems on their own, rather than relying on an expert to “fix” problems for them.





SAFE have developed effective partnerships with Southampton and Portsmouth County Council and other key funders including The National Lottery Fund, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Fund, People’s Postcode and the Henry Smith charity. SAFE has gone on to help thousands of people in Southampton and beyond regain their independence and secure long-term employment. We currently run approximately 40 courses a year, helping to transform the lives of more than 400 long term unemployed.

Kathryn Rankin, Commissioner and City Deal Programme Manager with Southampton City Council says, “SAFE is an effective and trustworthy organisation which has provided employment support services to the hardest to reach communities for many years. Their approach through the Choices course has been academically and externally validated and they have run the service for many years in Southampton and other local areas. I would strongly support this charity and with its motivational and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based) approach SAFE’s Choices programmes give something different from other provision and provides immense support to people furthest from the labour market.

Partners and promotional links

We will work with our existing referral partners - Southampton City Council Employment Support Teams, Jobcentre Plus, Wheatsheaf, Maximums and other training agencies to advertise the courses. In addition, we are making new partnerships and relationships with youth-based organisations such as the Fostering Network Association, No Limits, YMCA, Princes Trust.

We will conduct pre-course motivational interviews, to engage young people before the course starts, and run the courses within the local communities to remove any extra barriers to engagement. For example, in Southampton we use Central Hall, also containing a popular student coffee hub, a school and youth-based arts activities.

Next Steps...

Should any of the above services interest you please contact us, we are always on looking for new partnership's and candidates.