Positive Destinations

Help develop people’s life chances – and promote your organisation’s objectives at the same time!

This TSI programme, (funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund) aims to provide support to anyone needing help to reduce barriers that limit their personal growth and development. This can involve communication and social skills, for example, as well as access to further training, education or employment.

A core element of the programme is a volunteer placement, of six months duration, in an organisation in Argyll & Bute. This is supplemented with the provision of an assigned mentor to provide individual support throughout the placement. The intent is to expose the new entrant to the benefits that have been linked to volunteering. These include improved mental and physical health as well as a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also include a boost to confidence and self-esteem, helping the individual to stay active and engaged.

The initial role for the mentor is to work closely with the potential volunteer to find a placement that can provide the benefits best suited to them. These can include opportunities to improve communication and interpersonal skills, gain new practical skills and accumulate valuable work experience. The volunteer experience can also provide opportunities to meet new people , who may become new friends, while sharing interests and activities and making valuable, personal connections.

Once the placement has started the mentor will stay in close, and regular, contact with the volunteer to ensure they get the most benefit from their efforts, in a way that fits well with their expectations and hopes. A completion statement is provided at the end of the supported placement, following discussion between the mentor and  the volunteer. This provides an overview of the work undertaken and the resulting effects on the individual. Once TSI’s formal involvement has ended there is no pressure on the volunteer to leave the placement, this being a matter for negotiation between the volunteer and the placement provider.

Other, tangible benefits of the programme include a payment of £30 on completion of each week’s activity, paid directly in to the volunteer’s bank account. This is to offset any individual expenses occurred as a consequence of volunteering and, currently, does not affect any other benefits . Exceptional travel and/or other reasonable expenses may be covered, with advance agreement.

The possibility of gaining a Saltire Award on completion of the 6 months placement is under discussion for volunteers under 25 years old. The personal journey into volunteering provided by the programme will have been successful if it enables participants to see new, positive opportunities and a new way forward.

The programme is tailored to the individual and success is measured in a similarly individual way. For some, deciding to continue as a volunteer can provide an environment that fits well with their personal view of the future. Alternatively, skills strengthened and developed during volunteering may be the first step towards a path into further training or education . For some, it may be the beginning of a search for full or part-time work,. Whatever the decision, the assigned mentor will have worked with the volunteer during the placement to help them make a good decision for their next step into the future.

If you are interested in joining the programme or are in an organisation that would like to refer someone, please use the Register link below.

In order to make this programme work, we need organisations to offer volunteering placements. If you would like to find out more, please use the Offer Placement link below

For queries, contact Brian Grout. Check eligibility and programme details below.


The programme is open to anyone aged 15+ (within 6 months of leaving school) who are:

  • Unemployed (excluding those in full time education);
  • About to leave school without a positive destination;
  • School leavers without a positive destination;
  • In low paid employment;
  • At risk of redundancy;
  • At risk of losing an apprenticeship;
  • Leaving training, volunteering, college or university without a positive destination;
  • Low–skilled;
  • Without qualifications at SCQF 5 or above; or
  • Underemployed
  • Returning to work after an employment gap,
  • Are interested and willing to volunteer, and
  • Are unlikely to secure or retain a volunteering role without additional support *

* This could be because of a wide range of issues including (but not limited to):

  • Care Experienced
  • Difficulties accessing support
  • Difficulties settling
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Disengaged from services
  • Disruptive home setting / Family issues
  • Emotional or social difficulties
  • From a Travelling community
  • High reluctance to engage
  • Lack of focus
  • Learning difficulty, such as dyslexia
  • Learning disability
  • Low self-esteem / confidence
  • Not good at achieving targets
  • Physical Disability
  • Speaking English as an additional language
  • Poor mental health
  • Poor timekeeping
  • Risk of becoming homeless
  • Risk taking behaviours: substance abuse, criminal behaviour in the community
  • Self-harm / suicidal behaviour

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