Current Projects

The projects we are currently involved in:

1. ESF/SFA LA7 Community Project 2016-2018 (rounds 1, 3 and 4 [round 4 includes interventions in Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne])

This project would help develop the following skills needed for finding jobs in the UK:

-English Language in the workplace course

-IAG Course (Information, Advice and Guidance)

Round 1 LA7 ESF Community Grants project (2016) we run saw participant improving:

-English, maths and IT skills by 33%

-Knowledge of how to look for work by 37%

Within LA7 round 3 (2017-2018), there was an 82.5% increase in knowledge of where to look from work and a 46% increase in English, Maths and IT skills.

This was measured utilising a progress wheel (other categories were also measured, 1-10 scale on progress wheels has been converted to percentages).

We have engaged a total of 66 individuals and more than a quarter of them have now found employment.

2. ESF/Big Lottery Fund Tyne and Wear BBO (2016 – 2019)

Wise Steps helps people in Tyne and Wear to transform their lives, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. The project provides one to one specialist support to those on the pathway to work. This project is no longer recruiting participants and we have recruited a total of 64 individuals.

Our work focuses on those from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) background, including victims of modern slavery, refugees and economic migrants.

To this day, 22 individuals entered into employment and 7 into self-employment, while numerous individuals improved their skills, job searching techniques, confidence and gained accredited qualifications or entered training.

Many also started volunteering with ICOS or other organisations.

This programme is led by the Wise Group and we are cooperating with a number of other partners.

3. Police and Crime Commissioner’s for Northumbria Victims fund. (2018-2019)

We will engage with a minimum of 40 individuals through 3 community events, focusing on community safety, discrimination and hate crime, exploitation and online safety.

We are focusing on the Eastern European community in Sunderland and the surrounding area, providing space for two-way conversations between families and individuals, the police and the local authority, highlighting problems and solutions

The project will improve trust and mutual understanding between agencies responsible for safety and policing and the Eastern European community.

The 1st workshop took place on 02/11/2018.

4. Community Connectors 2018 – 2019 – Millfield

Together with Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre and Shiney Row Advice and Resource Project (SHARP), we are working to reduce social isolation, improve social cohesion and provide support with Universal Credit in Millfield, Sunderland.

This is delivered through regular drop-ins and will engage at least 80 individuals in the target area of Millfield, Sunderland.

5. Cleaner Communities 2018 – 2019: Millfield and St Michael’s

In partnership with Groundwork North East & Cumbria and Bluewatch Youth Centre, we are delivering regular clean-ups end educational workshops in Millfield and St Michael’s (Backhouse Park area), Sunderland.

We have so far engaged in excess of 200 volunteers, organised over 30 clean-ups, 8 educational workshops and gathered approximately 6.5 tons of refuse.

6. Reclaim your Backlanes 2018 – 2019: Millfield and St Michael’s

We have been commissioned by Groundwork North East & Cumbria to deliver educational activities and environmental engagement in Millfield and St Michael’s wards, Sunderland. More details to follow.

7. Healthy Steps and Health 24/7 (October 2017 – April 2019)

Working in partnership with Young Asian Voices and Sunderland Bangladesh Community Centre, as well as the Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network Limited which coordinates the project, we offer advice, support, guidance and advocacy to BME people in the East Area of Sunderland, the North Area of Sunderland and Washington. The project focuses on improving health and wellbeing of BME people in the above-mentioned areas through provision of advice and activities. Until 12/11/2018, ICOS has provided individual advice to over 90 clients and the project recruited 5 volunteers.

8. Eastern European Support Project (EESP) (2018- 2019)

We provide advice and advocacy, with emphasis on preventing problems/issues from escalating in areas such as contacting public services, finding out about local opportunities, rights at work and community safety.

The project focuses on Eastern Europeans living in Sunderland and the surrounding areas but no one is excluded.

We will provide help and support to over 120 individuals.

9. Back in Control Project (2019-2021)

The aim of the project is to improve, the economic, social, personal outcomes of victims of modern slavery/workplace exploitation, for people from ethnic minority groups residing in Sunderland and a 5-mile radius. ICOS will support victims who have been abused in getting back in control of their lives and be victims no more.

The Project is to offer free support employment rights, access to housing and welfare benefits, as well as support with accessing immigration advice and counselling.  ICOS works with partners who provide legal advocacy support, English language courses and interpreting services to encourage people to learn new skills, which will not only improve their employment prospects but also increase their confidence, self-belief and mental health well being.

ICOS will support at least 140 individuals through one – to -one advice, advocacy and confidence building activities. Moreover, it will support organisations such as employers to improve their employment practices. We hope to transform Sunderland to an area where employment is fair for every employee.