Leeds charity Stronger Families Project by Learning Partnerships

Stronger Families Project by Learning Partnerships

The Stronger Families project worked with families who were out of work to help them gain entry to the job market and gain sustainable employment. Using a 1:1 Key Worker approach and early intervention, participants were supported with a variety of issues including housing, debt, mental wellbeing and access to further education, training and employment.

The Stronger Families Project by Learning Partnerships

Stronger Families helped parents to access training, start job searching and find paid employment. We realise there are lots of reasons day to day life can make this difficult and so we offered support with things such as:

  • Health and Wellbeing including mental health, drugs and alcohol support
  • Provide advice on debt, housing, budgeting and benefits
  • Support participants to get ready for work with advice, support, guidance opportunities for work placements and building skills.

Stronger Families operates across Leeds and Bradford.  In Leeds, the project is managed through Barca-Leeds who can be contacted on 0113 386 9900 / email strongerfamilies@barca-leeds.orgStronger Families accepts self-referrals directly.

Joining the programme

We allocated participants a friendly Key Worker who worked with them for about 6 months. We addressed their needs, and helped them to achieve their work/training or education goals; this usually takes around six months but can be either more or less.

Key Workers regularly met with participants to understand their needs, strengths and job goals. Participants had access to specialists who worked to support them around the areas listed above.

We also linked in with a range of services that provide support for:

  • children with special education needs
  • domestic abuse
  • parenting

There were also family activities to get involved in too, from farm trips to art sessions.


Case Study

Stronger Families started to support me in October 2018. I have always struggled with my mental health. I have depression and anxiety which has always made me too fearful to try anything. My confidence has never been very high so going out was a real struggle for me and, as I had been out of work for so long that really didn’t help my confidence.

I started Stronger Families and my Key Worker was Paula. From the very start she was encouraging. She put me on an Inspire and Achieve course at Learning Partnerships. The first day I couldn’t even bring myself to go in. My anxiety was so bad that I felt ill. With a lot of encouragement I made it in. The second day my anxiety was really bad but when I met everyone I wondered what I was scared about in the first place. I really enjoyed the course and was sad when it ended. It really did bring my confidence up. Going on the course made me think I have got to just push my anxiety away and just push myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do.

I started seeing a mental health worker who Paula referred me to. I’m not much of a talker but it felt good to just get everything off my chest. I did a First Aid course which was very informative. Me and my son went to a pottery class with my Stronger Families Key Worker and I could tell my son had so much fun as we didn’t get out much because of my anxiety. He asked if we could go somewhere else the following week so we started going out every weekend for food or to parks. I realised I don’t need to be so anxious all the time and my son loves going out with his mummy.

Paula helped me to apply for jobs and for a Teaching Assistant course at Leeds City College. Walking into a class of thirty people – I nearly didn’t go in but I did it and I finished my course in July 2019. I got a placement at my son’s school which has also helped a lot with my confidence. In the future, after my level 3, I plan on going to University to study to be a Teacher and Psychologist after I have retaken my GCSE’s. I went to the Lifelong Learning Centre at Leeds University to meet with an advisor to get information about courses.
I am currently looking for Teaching Assistant jobs that fit around my studies but my dream job is to be a Prison Service Psychologist. I am currently volunteering at a local Foodbank run by the Church and I found that I really enjoy meeting new people. Stronger Families really has changed my life. My confidence is a lot higher and, with the help of my Key Worker, I finally believe in myself and am on my way to creating a better life for me and my son.

Click here to see the assessment of the impact of the Stronger Families project since its commencement in July 2017.

Leeds charity Stronger Families Project by Learning Partnerships

We regret to inform you that Stronger Families will no longer be taking referrals due to the project closing Jan 31st, 2023, when our funding from the Big Lottery and ESIF comes to an end.


Stronger Families has been a very successful programme supporting people on their journey into work and training. The programme has been running since 2017 and so far, has supported 2266 families across Leeds and Bradford. As you know, our model works with individuals and families to address the barriers that are affecting them from achieving their goals and aspirations. We are extremely proud of the programme and our participants, not to mention our Key Workers and Specialists who have supported families over the last 5 years.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the years. It has been an honour to serve our local community and to see the positive impact we have had during our time.


If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact Stronger Families at Stronger.families@leeds.gov.uk