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ConnectMe


Project Funder

European Social Fund 

Project Value

£120,750 (not including CU matched funding contribution)

Project Collaborators

  • Coventry City Council (Lead Partner)
  • Coventry University Social Enterprise (CUSE) Hub
  • Voluntary Action Coventry
  • WMHousing
  • Rethink Mental Health
  • Life Path Trust
  • Foleshill Women’s Trust

Project Team

  • Sinead Ouillon (Lead)
  • Samantha Aplin, FabLab Manager
  • Helen Lewis, Fab Lab Coordinator
  • Peter Coleman, Fab Lab Technician
  • Keith Jeffrey, Managing Director, CUSE
  • Gabriela Matouskova , Business Delivery Manager, CUSE
  • Daniel Range, Senior Research Assistant
  • David Mcilhatton, Senior Research Fellow
  • Kelly Bogue, Research Assistant
  • Sharon Cartwright, Research Delivery Support Partner
  • Amy Arnold, Research Delivery Support Assistant


Project Overview

What is ConnectMe?

ConnectMe is a three-year project supporting Coventry’s long term unemployed and economically inactive people.  The project aims to make it easier for people who are experiencing barriers to employment to move into education, training or employment.

Over 900 workless people, including those with disabilities, people with mental health difficulties, women, people from ethnic minorities and people aged 50+ will be supported over the course of the project. 

ConnectMe is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

What is Coventry University's Role?

As part of the project’s network of specialist providers, the University will work with Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and other partners to recruit and support BME communities into the project.  Recruitment of participants over 50 will be supported through the Coventry University, City Council and Age UK Age Friendly City project.

The University’s Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) will train and support a number of participants to be ‘ConnectMe Champions’.  Champions will engage with their peers and neighbours to understand the barriers faced, and contribute to the development of the programme by participating in the ‘experts by experience’ forum.

Fab Lab Coventry (http://www.covfablab.org.uk/) is an informal city-centre space where ConnectMe participants can learn new skills, complete work experience projects and engage with local employers.  Participants can choose from a range of entry level courses that are centred on advanced manufacturing and IT. Participants will also receive pre-employment support, including the opportunity to become trainers to deliver Fab Lab activity such as hosting a fix-it club / repair café.  Participants can gain recognition for the engineering and technical skills they gain in the Fab Lab through an accredited OCN course ‘Using Digital Fabrication Systems’.

Coventry University Social Enterprise Community Interest Company are delivering a 12-week training programme in social enterprise, business planning and marketing.  Participants will take part in workshops exploring the social challenges they may be facing, followed by a series of ‘toolkit’ sessions providing practical guidance on setting up a social enterprise.  Participants will have access to the social enterprise city network of entrepreneurs who meet regularly to exchange best practice, provide peer support and mentoring with external invited speakers and training sessions.

How do I find out more?