The first programme of its kind in Somerset, ‘Positive People’ will help over 1,000 individuals who are out of work to build their confidence and develop their skills. The programme will be personally tailored to individual needs and will include help with personal development, health and wellbeing, and to develop life-skills including digital technology.

Partners began to deliver the £4 million programme in March 2017 and will deliver the project over the next three years. Pluss’ Chief Executive, Steve Hawkins, said “Positive People will support hundreds of people across Somerset to overcome a range of barriers and build a brighter future for themselves and their families”.

Meet the Positive People partners




Abilities is an established training provider with over 20 years experience in helping people back into employment. They are a non-profit making charity working closely with the local community and businesses to support people back into work.

Initially Abilities was set up to help people with disabilities re-train and find sustainable employment. They have since expanded to cover the long-term unemployed, young people and lone parents amongst others. Abilities operates across Somerset and Dorset.

Inspired to Achieve

Inspired to Achieve

Inspired to Achieve (i2a) became a wholly owned subsidiary of Yarlington Housing Group in October 2014. We are a Social Enterprise that offers impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG) to empower people to fulfil their potential. We are an ‘end to end’ provider with a proven history of supporting our customers into employment and training outcomes.

I2a provides a high quality, adaptable and bespoke service to people seeking work and progression through one to one interviews, training opportunities and group work activities.

Our job is to help our customers understand their chosen destination and then support them on their journey. We believe in ‘equality of opportunity’ not ‘equal opportunities’ so do all we can to assess and understand our customer’s needs so we are able to design solutions that are required and accessible. One size does not fit all.

Partnership working is a core element of all our work and valued highly. We work collaboratively across Somerset with a wide range of organisations e.g. housing associations, health services, training and education providers and the community and voluntary sector. We work to the mantra ‘complementing and not duplicating’.

Over the years we have developed strong relationships across the region with employers. Through the contracts we deliver we have access to the employer supply chain enabling us to secure opportunities in volunteering, work placements and apprenticeships.

We deliver a range of contracts across Somerset and are a Core Partner delivering the Positive People Big Lottery and European Social Funded project.



Pluss is an award winning Social Enterprise that supports thousands of people with disabilities and other disadvantages move into employment each year.



Based in Honiton, East Devon, Cosmic is a digital consultancy and social enterprise which specialises in IT training courses, business consultancy, website development and technical support. Cosmic deliver training and support to local businesses, schools, charities and to community groups in both rural and urban areas in Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall.

With Positive People, Cosmic provide the digital inclusion element of the project, delivering 1:1 training and support to anyone with a technical need – from turning on a computer for the first time through to Microsoft Office and building their own website.

Cosmic also run engagement sessions and gadget shows that demonstrate the practical and fun use of gizmos in the modern age, with easy to use gadgets such as Virtual Reality and Fitbits, encouraging those who are digitally excluded to give technology a try.

Community Council for Somerset

Community Council for Somerset

CCS is an independent charity established in 1926 delivering an extensive range of personalised support and services for rural and urban communities across Somerset. Our primary focus is on the needs of whole communities rather than narrowly focussed service provision. We aim to inspire social action by building capacity, capability and vision in communities to enable them to shape their own futures, address vulnerabilities and improve quality of life.

Our grassroots reach into communities is unrivalled through Village, Community and Carers Agents and our role within the Positive People programme is to encourage participation from a wide cross-section of Somerset’s residents; including very hard to reach and marginalised individuals. As a Core Partner providing Community Enablers we also seek to ensure that the voice of participants and the wider community is heard to help shape and influence the programme.

Your feedback is important to us. If you have been on or are currently on the Positive People Programme then please follow this link and let us know about your experience. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and will help us to make any improvements required. Your feedback also helps us to celebrate what we are getting right. Thank you for your time.

Read more on our website.

Latest news

Josh’s Journey to Digital Confidence

Josh had been keen to move back into work for some time before joining Positive People, but felt lacking in the confidence to do so. He says: “I was initially referred through Tracy at the local Parish Council. She felt the project might be of help to me. I really...

A funky way to start a business

“Starting a business has never been made so easy” said Stephen Judge, one of the many people who attended our free Pop-Up Business School event in Taunton last month. Running at Taunton Library, the Pop-Up Business school helps people start small businesses, making...

Josh’s Journey to Digital Confidence

Josh had been keen to move back into work for some time before joining Positive People, but felt lacking in the confidence to do so. He says: “I was initially referred through Tracy at the local Parish Council. She felt the project might be of help to me. I really...

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Introducing Rachel Pereira’s the ‘Witch in the Wardrobe’ Exhibition @ Strode Theatre

May 31 @ 10:00 - August 15 @ 21:00

Rachel Madeline Pereira would like to digitally invite you to come and enjoy her ‘The Witch in the Wardrobe’ Exhibition at Strode Theatre, Street, Somerset supported by Positive People. ‘The Witch in the Wardrobe’ is an exhibition of 20 years of art and painted furniture and is open daily to the public in the Theatre Foyer area, 10 am ’til late (except Sundays) from Thursday 31st May to Wednesday 15th August 2018. A little bit about Rachel in her own words: I am…

Explore Your Future Tea Party @ Castle Hotel Taunton!

June 27 @ 14:00 - 16:00

Positive People would like to invite anyone who has caring responsibilities or has had in the past to our tea party at Castle Hotel, Taunton! This is an RSVP only event, as we need to know numbers of how many FREE cream teas to make! This event is aimed at helping you to EXPLORE YOUR FUTURE, whether that be to work alongside in harmony with your current caring responsibilities or to plan for a future when you may have a…

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