Stepping Forward was an Employment Support Programme for lone parents living and claiming benefits in Hackney.

By providing information, advice & guidance, the Stepping Forward programme supported lone parents with accessing paid and voluntary employment opportunities, education and training.

All those who registered were assisted with improving their employability skills which includes (but not limited to) job search and CV development, interview skills and managing personal circumstances while at work.

The project also helped with sourcing and securing suitable childcare. Due to its success, Stepping Forward was awarded funding for consecutive years by the DWP!

From 2014 to 2016, the project supported over 110 lone parents living and claiming benefits in Hackney. Of those who registered, 100 progressed along their journey towards employment, while 37 found paid employment with employers such as Sadler’s Wells, Travelodge, Servacare and Holland and Barrett.

  • I remember getting the call to say I had been successful (getting a job). I literally jumped up and down and did a little dance for joy. I was ecstatic. To break away from benefits and become self-sufficient is an awesome feeling. I feel proud of what I have achieved and still pinch myself from time to time. I will always remember VCH’s role in getting me to where I am today
    - VCH Change Together participant


Stepping Forward was funded by Jobcentre Plus. 


We worked in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, local Children’s Centres, Women Like Us, Peter Bedford Housing Association, local schools, Hackney Learning Trust and Ways into Work.