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Powys Equals Partnership

Partnership information


Miranda at her work in the post room


The Powys Equals Partnership partners have come together from both voluntary and statutory sectors to develop pathways to work for groups who often face persistent barriers to employment. Three key elements - social enterprise projects, the value of lived experience skills, and integrated service delivery - all have important contributions to make to the local economy and enhance the development, management and delivery of services, enterprises and other initiatives.

Social enterprises account for 5% of all businesses with employees nationwide and contribute £8.4 billion per year to the UK economy - almost 1% of annual GDP. Within Powys there are a number of excellent examples of social enterprise that provide services: Cae Post (re-cycling), SIREN (woodwork products) and Arcady (community regeneration through cultural tourism). This DP has been learning from them to overcome barriers and support the development of new approaches.


Powys Equals Partnership aims to develop employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups in the labour market across Powys, Wales, by focusing on social enterprise models, community approaches to service provision, and social inclusion in rural communities.


  • Develop services that meet the needs of people from more than one disadvantaged group
  • Create job opportunities for people who have learned from experiences of overcoming barriers associated with disability or disadvantage
  • Establish a network of supported self-help services by training family members who have lived experience to be trainers and facilitators
  • Support social enterprises that actively include opportunities for people who have experienced exclusion.


  • Producing report and guidelines on the ethics of social enterprise marketing based on research conducted with SIREN social enterprise
  • Developing benefits chart to help employees of social firms understand the impact of employment on benefits
  • Collating findings and papers on equality and disability discrimination with a view to offering improved practices for access to work and responsible employment
  • Developing the concept of a College of Acknowledged Lived Experience
  • Establishing integrated services for people who have been displaced through being in care or for social or health related reasons, and families who have complex needs that impact on child care within the home
  • Sharing responsible employers work programmes with local authority, national parks, the health authority and other local employers.

Target Groups

  • Unemployed
  • Migrants
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Asylum seekers
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People coping with mental health issues
  • Substance abusers
  • Homeless people
  • Ex-offenders
  • People leaving care




Round 1 to Round 2

This Development Partnership was not involved in Round One.

Transnational partnerships


Christine Cameron, PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations), , Alison Thomas, PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations),


Action 2: 29 June 2007
Action 3: 21 December 2007

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Social economy



The Powys Association for Voluntary Organisations (PAVO) has brought together a number of voluntary and statutory sector organisations to develop pathways to work for specific disadvantaged groups and to tackle barriers that reinforces stigma, organisations that find it difficult to include people from disadvantaged groups, and employment practices that do not directly benefit beneficiaries.


Asylum seekers, Drug and alcohol misusers, Ex-offenders, Homeless people, Other, People with disabilities, People with mental health conditions, Rural communities, Unemployed



Intended impact/ sustainability

The DP has been challenging barriers to employment through several channels that include giving people a voice and pathways through which they - and their communities - can apply their Acknowledged Lived Experience (ALE). Having been piloted and promoted within major public institutions in the county, it is intended that these practices will be long-lasting and encourage others to follow their example.

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The Environmental Project is testing how a facility can be established which can meet the needs of a wide variety of people including people with learning disabilities, with mental health problems, or with substance use problems. Trialing the processes needed to establish and run such a joint facility in a rural area has wide implications for both this locality and other rural areas.


The Hidden Harm project seeks to support families to enable the children of substance abusers to remain in the family rather than be managed under child protection systems. The success of this work will have wide-ranging implications from local to National level should similar support networks be established nationally.

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Activities and products