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Jigsaw Coaching welcomes collaborations with others – the sharing of diverse ideas and experiences allows new possibilities to be created. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss any joint work!

Here are examples of current and past projects:

VI Boost to Employment (Mar – May 22)  LCVS logo

VIBE logo

Jigsaw is delighted to report we’ve obtained funding through the Liverpool CVS Innovation in Communities Fund, part-funded by the Government’s Community Renewal Fund.

This will enable us to go back to working with people with a visual impairment (VIs) in Liverpool and improve their employment opportunities. It follows on from previous projects (Bridge the Gap and Navigating Your Future – see below).

Over three months, the VIBE project will carry out three strands:

  • Interview VIs that we’ve worked with previously, to find out how they’ve fared during the pandemic and to identify any support needs.
  • Work with 10 new VIs through 1:1 coaching, workshops and training. Benefits include increased confidence, improved digital skills, greater sense of direction in their job search and connections to employers.
  • Carry out a feasibility study with VI charities and other partners for future work to expand the employment support available for VIs.

Progress through Peer Support (Oct 21 – Apr 22)

Peer Support logoParticipants take part in small group workshops to share their experiences with peers, helping each other to address barriers to work.

Sharing coping strategies with others helps people reduce their feelings of isolation and improve self-belief. They will also take an accredited 3-day mentoring course as a group to further develop their skills in empathy, effective listening and other communication skills – important in many jobs.


The project, funded by the European Social Fund, will offer participants the chance to:

  • Improve their confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop connections with others in similar situation, to gain support and reduce isolation
  • Identify transferable skills and strengths
  • Determine type of work and environment that would suit them

Download the flyer

European Social Fund logo Liverpool City Region logo Education & Skills Funding Agency logo WEA logo


Future Focus (Aug 21 – Jul 22)

Future Focus logoMany people have lost their job due to Covid, with few opportunities in their sector, resulting in reduced confidence in their skills or interacting with others. Community Fund logo

Also long-term unemployed people, especially with a disability or health condition, now face increased competition for limited jobs, leaving them feeling even further away from employment.

Funded by the Lottery, Future Focus will support 20 unemployed people by providing 8x individual coaching sessions and involvement in 4x hour-long weekly workshops.

Participants will:

  • Build confidence
  • Strengthen resilience
  • Develop more focus in their job search
  • Be supported to address any barriers in the way

Download the flyer

Resilience Matters (Jul – Dec 20)


RM logo

This short-term project was a Lottery-funded project to support those who have been particularly affected by COVID. It offered coaching to 12 individuals, together with workshops for groups of 4. It helped people explore what resilience is, how to develop it and how to recognise existing examples of resilience.

For each group, the final workshop created a podcast based on each group’s discussions on what they have learnt in the project, giving them a resource for future use.


Skills Cascade (Jun 20 – May 21)

SCE logo

Funded by the European Social Fund, this project supports those who have been long-term unemployed and have a health condition or a disability. The approaches used will be tailor-made to suit the individual and meet their needs.

There will also be opportunities for people who have been supported by Jigsaw in previous projects to gain some work experience doing admin, workshop development or delivery and evaluation. This will help to ‘cascade’ their skills and experience to others, whilst helping them build their confidence.

So far, participants have been referred from a GP practice, the Whitechapel Centre, the Carers’ Centre and job centres.


European Social Fund logo Liverpool City Region logo Education & Skills Funding Agency logo WEA logo


Work It Out (Mar 20 – Feb 21)

WIO logoThis lottery-funded project is aimed at people with a disability or health condition and helps them to identify types of job and work environments that would help them flourish.

Community Fund logo

Through a combination of individual coaching and peer support from workshops, people can gain a better idea of their skills and abilities to increase their clarity about their future direction and help to focus their job search.

People are referred to the project from disability employment advisors in local job centres, charities and a GP practice.


Navigating Your Future (Feb 20 – Feb 21)

Jigsaw obtained further funding from the ESF Community Fund, in partnership with Wirral Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted , Bradbury Fields and Merseyside Sight Loss Council to run Navigating Your Future.

Logo for Wirral Society

This continued the work with VIs and apply the lessons learnt in Bridge the Gap. One participant obtained a job and two of the participants have started training to become a

coach. Three people took part in the Co-Starters course (brought over from the US by Inclusive Economy Liverpool) to help them develop their ideas for starting a new business. It was the first time the 8-week course has been run in the UK and although it was run on Zoom, due to Covid restrictions, the participants found it very useful and engaging.

An external evaluation was carried out by Nick Small from Social Impact Consulting and it demonstrated the social value created by the project was £126,561 over a year – i.e. for every £1 invested, the programme created £6.72 of social value.

This comprised the following:

  • Mental health and wellbeing – £30,147 of social value
  • Sense of community – £28,044 of social value
  • Employment and skills – £68,370 of social value.

Download the evaluation

European Social Fund logo Liverpool City Region logo Education & Skills Funding Agency logo WEA logo


Bridge the Gap (Apr 19 – Mar 20)

The aim of this project was to enhance the employment prospects of 24 visually impaired adults (VIs) in Liverpool City Region. Jigsaw worked in partnership with Bradbury Fields Services for Blind and Partially Sighted People to gain funding from Visionary’s Development and Innovation Fund and the P.H. Holt Foundation.

Key aspects of the project included:

  • individual coaching, to identify and address barriers
  • workshops on different topics to share skills and knowledge
  • group meetings to encourage peer-support.

An Employer Engagement event was held on 20th February 2020 to showcase the skills and abilities of VIs and highlight the financial and technological support available to employers.

Chaired by Roger Phillips and hosted by Liverpool Football Club, speakers included  Paul Cherpeau (CEO of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce) and Garth Dallas, Chair of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association with an interest in equality and diversity. A panel including Saima Ashraf, a VI working as a Senior Auditor a high level in Merseyside Police and Judge Afzal, the first Asian blind judge in the UK spoke about their employment experiences.

The event was successful in challenging some of the myths in employing VIs, developing networks and partnerships to create work opportunities in the region.

Download the final report

Visionary logo Bradbury Fields logo PH Holt logo

Know the Ropes

Postcode Community Trust logo

Jigsaw obtained funding from the Postcode Community Trust, in partnership with UK North Blind Sailing Association (UKNBSA), a charity which has been offering opportunities for VIs to go yacht racing on the Mersey, together with other boats from Royal Mersey Yacht Club. 

Logo for UK North Blind Sailing AssociationThe bid was to involve visually impaired people in developing an accessible, accredited sailing theory course to reduce isolation and increase confidence. The intention was to develop the course, with help from the RYA’s Sailability programme, pilot it and start running it over the summer sailing season in 2020. However, no sailing took place this year, and instead the funders allowed UKNBSA to use the funding for its general running costs.

Tom Walker from Walk On Water interviewed key members of UKNBSA and produced podcasts for VIs to find out more about the sailing opportunities available, and to whet their appetite for when the sailing can start again (links on Tom’s website).


Resilience in Business

Resilience event

A business breakfast was held in August 2019, sponsored by the Health Innovation Exchange. There were several speakers from a range of backgrounds talking about how resilience is important for business, sharing different perspectives on how to increase resilience in these unpredictable times.

Click here for more details on the event and the speakers.




Social Equity Partnership Logo for Northern Social Investment Fund

Jigsaw was involved in a research and development project, run by Northern Social Investment Group (NSIG) in conjunction with First Ark and funded by the Connect Fund.

In the project, professional advisers were placed with social enterprises for up to a year, to review the organisationLogo of First Ark and identify key areas to address. Baseline information was collected by NSIG and at stages in the project, to explore progress made and lessons learnt.

Jigsaw worked in partnership with a local firm from August 2018, acting as a ‘critical friend’ to achieve key objectives. Feedback from the firm:

We made contact with Jill Barlow at Jigsaw when we were in the middle of a business turnaround situation.  Jill took time to speak to everybody within the organisation, obtained details of our business and objectives and delivered a very comprehensive report.  This helped us bring a clear vision to the situation we were in and I think it unified the team in working towards a common goal.


Out on the Mersey

Photo of yacht Jeeona

Yacht Jeeona

OutreachSailing is a social enterprise which provides fun and educational sailing opportunities on the River Mersey. It welcomes people of all ages, who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to go sailing.

People who’ve been sailing on Jeeona have found the benefits include more confidence and better social interaction, as well as a sense of achievement.

Funding was obtained from the People’s Postcode Trust for Jigsaw and People's Postcode Trust logoOutreachSailing in 2018 to develop an employability training course on the boat for people with a disability. We covered some key skills which are important on board a boat and are also transferable to the world of work, and people obtained practical evidence of them using these skills.

The course was found to be engaging and interactive, and was run several times between May and September 2019.


Sharing life skills and experiences

Liverpool has risen to the challenge of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with a pioneering cross-sector hub, combining innovative ideas and actions to make an impact on the 17 goals.Liverpool UN 2030 hub logo

Jigsaw Coaching worked with Les Bellmon from the 2030hub in 2018 to explore how peer-to-peer mentoring can be used in different settings, engaging with more vulnerable individuals. This aligns with the hub’s core theme that ‘no-one is left behind’.

If people are encouraged and supported to share what they’ve been through, it can greatly benefit them as well as others who are going through similar experiences.


Supporting RNIB

RNIB logo

Jigsaw completed a literature review for RNIB to support a 3 year evaluation of their ‘Online Today’ programme in 2018.

This UK-wide programme provided people with visual impairments the support they need to access digital technology, via home visits, group sessions, training and one-to-one guidance.

The review outlined current UK policy context and explored how accessible technology can be used to help people with visual and sensory impairments, considering both opportunities and barriers.