achieving change through enterprising solutions

What is Refresh?

Refresh delivers a practical cycle maintenance course combined with life coaching, enterprise and leadership skills for inmates of HMP Holme House to improve job readiness and help people back to work. The practical One Awards accredited level 1 qualification in Cycle Maintenance will teach the skills required to restore an unusable bike to a serviceable standard. Alongside this Actes will develop job readiness skills via life coaching in employability, enterprise and leadership skills.

Who can it help?

Refresh provides support to adult males (18 years plus) within HMP Holme House. It is delivered by Actes in partnership with Middlesbrough Environment City with the focus on preparing people to re-enter the jobs market and help people back to work.

What types of support are available?

Delivered over 10 weeks, by the end of the course learners will have gained an accredited qualification and have developed practical skills, knowledge and confidence and a more positive mind-set. Moving forward, learners will be able to demonstrate experience of working in a repair / service environment, combined with a greater understanding of employability and self-employment. Participants will also have determined how the bikes are distributed, both within the HMP community and to local voluntary groups.

How do I get in touch with Refresh?

Refresh is being delivered within HMP Holme House. For more information about the service please contact Bernadette Myers on 07850 916 304 or email



What is Firm Foundations?

Firm Foundations is a 5 year project funded by the Big Lottery's ‘Help Through Crisis’ Fund which helps people facing financial hardship to overcome immediate difficulties and to prepare for future opportunities and challenges. The project will provide tailored support, advice and advocacy to help people to be in a better position to improve their circumstances.

Who can it help?

Firm Foundations will help people living in Middlesbrough most at risk of crisis. Actes, with its partners Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind and the University of Teesside amongst others, will work with a network of organisations to identify those experiencing crisis.

What types of support are available?

The project will provide tailored support, advice and advocacy. Outreach workers offer support seven days a week and have the local knowledge and skills to develop a trusting relationship with individuals and families.

Working with partners, we will provide urgent support, including food, clothing and household items. Workers will provide information, advice and advocacy including access to welfare benefits advice, housing and healthcare. Person-centred support enables people to identify and prioritise the issues they face and plan for the future by drawing on their own strengths and abilities and what’s worked for them in the past.

How do I get in touch with Firm Foundations?

You can contact Firm Foundations on 01642 856030.


What is Help through Crisis

Help Through Crisis is a Big Lottery funded service providing support to people facing hardship and crisis, with the aim of helping them to overcome immediate difficulties, and be ready for future opportunities and challenges.

The project aims to draw on the strengths and personal experiences of people who have faced hardship, and to create an effective partnership of organisations working together to resolve immediate crisis and help them to build long-term resilience.

Help Through Crisis will be delivered throughout Stockton on Tees by Actes and it's partners, which include Stockton & District Advice & Information Service, Bridges and Billingham Food Bank/New Life Church.  

Who can it help?

Help Through Crisis will help people in Stockton on Tees who have experienced hardship and crisis, to improve their circumstances and plan for the future by accessing support that they will shape themselves.

You can receive support from the project if you are accessing the following agencies: Food Banks, Local Authority services including Homelessness/Social Services/Welfare Assistance, the Mental Health Crisis Team, and Bridges (Substance Misuse).  

What types of support are available?

The project will provide focused advice and advocacy including holistic welfare advice by trained Citizens Advice Bureau staff, on-going advice and advocacy by named and trained individuals, and ongoing support and help making tailored individual action plans.

How do I get in touch with Help Through Crisis?

If you would like to find out how Help Through Crisis can help you, speak to your representative at a food bank you access, Stockton on Tees Council, the Mental Health Crisis Team, or Bridges. If you are a representative from one of these organisations you can contact Help Through Crisis on 01642 856030.

Help Through Crisis Stockton Strapline

What is Talent Match Middlesbrough?

Talent Match Middlesbrough is a Big Lottery funded young person led project. Over 5 years it aims to engage, inspire and support 500 young people aged 18 to 24 in Middlesbrough who have been unemployed for 12 months or more. By the end of the project 400 young people will have improved confidence, motivation, self-esteem and skills, and, 100 young people will be supported into employment or enterprise sustained for six months or more.

Who can it help?

If you are aged between 18 and 24, live in Middlesbrough and have been unemployed for 12 months or more, Talent Match Middlesbrough could help you.

What support is available?

The project is based on a partnership approach with the Princes Trust, and the project looks to actively engage young people in the development, design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the project.

As part of the project, Actes employs two Youth Advocates who engage and support young people. The advocates develop meaningful connections in communities and engage with and refer young people to personal development activities to help build confidence or overcome issues. The advocates offer one to one support and guidance to help the young people navigate and access the available training and employment opportunities.

How do I get in touch with Talent Match Middlesbrough?

You can contact the Talent Match Middlesbrough Youth Advocates on 01642 856030.


Talent Match Middlesbrough for web





Talentmatch Strip


What was Inspire Life Coaching? 

During 2015 Actes delivered Inspire a life coaching project working with long-term unemployed ex-offenders to help them overcome barriers when trying to secure sustainable employment. It combined a proven life coaching methodology with employability and enterprise support, proactive employer engagement and work placement / volunteering opportunities 

Practical features of Inspire included helping people to prepare CVs, complete a job application, to manage what, how and when to disclose offending histories, to address barriers and ultimately to help those with an offending history to move closer to or into work.  

The pace and level of support was tailored to meet the needs of the individual for a maximum of up to 10 weeks. Delivery was via a combination of 1-2-1 support, group workshops and training complemented by regular telephone, text and email contact to retain motivation. 

Who did the Inspire Life Coaching service help? 

Inspire worked with long-term unemployed ex-offenders of all ages. 

What support did Inspire Life Coaching provide? 

Actes’ qualified life coaches supported clients to keep focused on their goals resulting in them feeling more positive and empowered about their futures. This was combined with a more supportive advisory role which signposted the client to specialist services to overcome barriers with the aim of securing employment. 

Inspire combined a proven life coaching methodology with employability and enterprise support, proactive employer engagement and workplace / volunteering opportunities. It aimed to help clients gain long-term change rather than short-term fixes. 

What was the impact of the Inspire Life Coaching service? 

Working with 49 ex-offenders, Actes helped secure work placements for 15 learners, and supported 14 into 12 weeks sustained employment over a nine-month period.