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The Independence Initiative works with individuals, agencies and the community to facilitate the

long-term rehabilitation of people with a history of drug misuse and also provides support for

their families.


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June 22nd 2018


Bootle MP Peter Dowd Unveils The Indy's Dragonfly Mosaic


Peter Dowd MP unveiled a mosaic art work at the Independence Initiative in Bootle. The Indy as it is known locally has been providing a day programme for recovering substance misusers since 1998.

The Indy also offers a transitional housing unit (The Key) that provides housing for those who are not ready for community living or who are at risk of homelessness. They have grown form 2 units to 13 in just under 3 years, and will be opening a female only unit in Bootle in the coming months.

Local MP Peter Dowd said “I was delighted to attend the Independent Initiative today to unveil their new dragon fly mosaic, which represents transformation. The independent initiative truly achieves the goal of helping people to transform their lives. The service supports people with complex issues such as substance misuse, mental ill health and homelessness. The dedicated staff, volunteers and other professional help people to regain their lives and I would like to thank them for what they do in our community.

Jim Brett, Operations Manager, added “It was fantastic for Peter Dowd MP to come and unveil the mosaic artwork, it was great also that Roy Williams, CEO of One Vision Housing, was also in attendance. OVH are a key partner in providing the social housing for all of our residential graduates”.

The artwork called The Dragon Fly was designed and constructed by Amanda Jane Earley who explained that “In most cultures the dragonfly is a mythical insect that represents change and transformation, the mosaic shows a picture of a dragonfly in summertime following a pathway, beyond the gates are fields of golden wheat, blue skies and green pastures. My idea was to mirror optimism, the mosaic being placed on the path entrance of The Key, so service users who enter the building will be viewing a positive visual message entwined to their own personal journey to inspire change and wellbeing”


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Include-IT Mersey Project – being delivered at The Indy


What we want to achieve and how we intend to deliver it


Include-IT Mersey will provide targeted, personalised digital skills development and employment support to digitally excluded, unemployed/economically inactive residents of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) to improve their basic ICT and online skills, confidence and access to digital technologies, enabling them to overcome barriers resulting from a lack of digital skills.

Although the project’s primary focus is Digital Inclusion (DI), our delivery model is firmly set in the context of skills/employment and will ultimately support participants to progress towards employment or further training, helping those furthest from the labour market to become more job ready.


Our core delivery model involves:


1.Intelligent identification, referral and engagement, using robust data from the largest network of Housing Associations across LCR;


2.Volunteer Digital Champions for localised community engagement & support;


3.Highly experienced/effective, locally based, ICT & employment support providers, with extensive employer links;


4.Localised outreach delivery through a network of Delivery Partners (DPs), community venues and Housing Associations;


5.Digital surgeries/ IT drop-ins, aligned to our training provision, run by experienced staff and volunteers, to facilitate ongoing access to digital technologies, enabling participants to practice and apply their new found skills during and after training.

The delivery model diagram is appended (see Appendix 1).


The project will provide individually tailored, flexible programmes of support that respond to specific needs & barriers (to DI, employment & training) faced by participants.


Interesting approaches to developing basic digital skills, finding the right ‘hooks’ to engage people (e.g. social media, shopping, entertainment) will lead into more targeted, employment focused ICT delivery (e.g. online job search, universal job match, CV builder).  At this point, wider employment/ skills support will be weaved in, covering topics such as:


•Understanding recruitment & application processes, including on-line processes

•CV/ application writing

•Interview skills

•Other PSD: presentation, confidence, timekeeping, inter-personal & communication skills, teamwork, problem solving

•Workplace behaviours, rights & responsibilities

•Work experience, volunteering

•Wider progression support


Benefits to the individual (participant) include:

•Increased confidence, empowerment & inclusion through improved ability to use digital media to job search, improve skills and engage with public services, as well as friends & family.

•Renewed motivation to learn & progress in life; gaining what will, in many cases, be a first qualification

•Greater confidence in self-ability to judge & combat risks associated with online activity

•Better access to digital technology/ services and support in convenient locations

•Improved digital skills leading to:

•Financial: budgeting capability, savings through online shopping & cheaper communication

•Social: reduced isolation through social media; access to entertainment; ability to pursue interests online

•Health: access to online health services/advice

•Employment benefits:

•Ability to search & apply online, work-related IT skills

•Improved employability & workplace ICT skills, increasing employment prospects

•Work experience & volunteering opportunities as a pathway to employment

•Gaining employment

include it merseyside national lottery

July 2nd 2018

July 25th 2018


A great big thank you goes out to Hugh Baird and the painting & decorating students. 



They very kindly painted the exterior of our building on Balliol Road, Bootle, free of charge!. As a charity we struggle to find the funding for such maintenance jobs – so this has been a real help to us and our service users.

And they did a brilliant job too – thanks again

hugh baird decorators

Sept 17th 2018







Quaker Housing Trust helps The Key to grow


Thanks to a grant of £10,000 a brand new en-suite room has been added to The Key at the Indy. Quaker Housing Trust is a small charity offering support and loans/ grants to projects who might have difficulty getting funding elsewhere.


With this assistance from QHT we have redeveloped an old learning room into a self-contained modern living space with its own bathroom. This will provide transitional housing accommodation for people who are recovering from substance misuse and are at risk of homelessness, and who are looking to settle in the community. We provide ongoing support to these people and when the time is ready we will look to place them with our housing partners, One Vision Housing.


The additional room will no doubt add to the ongoing success of The Key as we continue to become a premier service across Merseyside. We now have 9 rooms on site, a 4 bed house in the local community, and a 4 bed female only unit due to open in October 18.


So a great big thank you to Quaker Housing Trust!


For any information regarding The Key please contact us directly on 0151 284 1100. We are here to help in whatever way we can.


And finally - if anybody wants to help furnish the room/s please get in touch

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Liverpool City Region’s Digital Inclusion Project (Building Better Opportunities)


The Independence Initiative has now finished its first Digital Inclusion course, 9 weeks of hard work for the four successful students.































If you are looking to be one of our next successful students contact Paulene at the Independence Initiative to add your name to the list, new course starting soon.

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Sept 27th 2018