Face Forward is an innovative project in Dorset, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme to help the most disengaged individuals move forward and achieve their goals.

Face Forward is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the National Lottery Community Fund.

What Do We Offer?

Our co-produced model allows us to offer a tailored service to each of the Face Forward members.

Face Forward:

  • Provides 1:1 support to set goals and take steps to achieve them
  • Helps members to gain self-confidence in life skills
  • Engages through experiential and practical activities
  • Advises on career and educational options and helps with applications
How Does It Work

At the heart of Face Forward are four locally focused engagement teams. Each team consists of two Face Forward Apprentices, supported by a Face Forward Advisor and Locality Coordinator. The apprentices provide peer support which is an important part of the process. Dorset Youth Association set up volunteering and work experience opportunities for participants all over Dorset tailored to the individual’s aims, interests, skills and geographical location. We support the participant through the process of choosing, applying, taking part and evaluating their placement and this forms a vital part of their Face Forward experience, providing many with the confidence and motivation to take the next steps in their personal development.

What impact do we have?

Cassie Started Face Forward being socially isolated, struggling with her mental health and not having anything to do.

Through Face Forward and the Horserenity project she was able to build up her confidence and find her passion for animals. Dorset Youth Association also arranged for her to volunteer in a community farm for families in need, helping to maintain the allotment. She now has future career aspirations to get back into education and to work in health care or with animals. Watch to hear more of Cassie’s journey.

Who do we work with?

Face Forward has worked with around 700 young adults across Dorset who are isolated, vulnerable and marginalised form mainstream activity due to personal or circumstantial barriers. Over 80 of these have engaged through Dorset Youth Association in volunteering or work experience.

Participants are:

  • Young adults aged 15-24 who are not in education, employment or training


  • Young people aged between 15-18 who are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)

Please note: Face Forward is closed for new referrals. We will continue our excellent work with those already on the programme until 13th March 2020 when the project ends.