One of our Community Matters partners, Accord, work with older adults who are seeking employment.

We were lucky enough to join Accord earlier this year on one of their walking trips and when we heard about their ‘Back to Nature’ classes we jumped at the opportunity!

Ran by Jack Everist, an undergraduate at Harper Adams University, the six-week programme is helping to raise participants awareness and practical understanding of the environment and the natural world around them. The programme also endeavours to improve self-confidence and promote teamwork.

Jack said:

“I didn’t know much about Accord. I just knew that the target audience was individuals who were lonely and unemployed. I felt that I could help them and did what I could.


“The class has developed so much and it’s brilliant to see! People who started off quiet are now the chattiest of the group.”

The sessions have multiple benefits and getting participants closer to the job market can come in all shapes and sizes.

“I don’t mind what people take from the sessions. The main thing for me is that they’re out of the house and in a lovely green space where they can talk to others and learn. Open spaces are so good for people’s mental health, and the fact that they’re attending is brilliant because of the benefits they’ll gain.”

But what pushed Jack to give his time to Accord?:

“I feel like life as a student is very selfish, just because life is so easy. I don’t work, I socialise a lot and I don’t give much back.


“Being able to do this and give something back to my local area feels brilliant, and it’s even better knowing that I’m helping the environment.


“Being outdoors and learning can free the mind, allowing for an individual’s abilities to become enhanced.


“I enjoy being able to teach people about what is on their front door. TV programmes like Blue Planet are great but don’t have all that much relevance to us.


“Accord do an amazing job, putting on many activities to suit a range of people. The programme I ran was the first of its kind, and I was privileged to be able to run it. I’m pleased with how successful it’s been and hope that Accord will put more on like it.”

One participant told us:

“I’ve really enjoyed the sessions. Jack is really enthusiastic which helps. These sessions have helped my confidence and I’ve now secured a voluntary position.”

To find out more about Accord and the work they do, please click here.

To find out more about our Community Matters programme click here.

The nationwide, Building Better Opportunities programme, is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) who are co-investing in local projects tackling the root causes of worklessness, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

Community Matters is one of four projects within this programme across the Black Country and will help people across Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell move into or closer to employment by developing their skills and confidence.

Community Matters is managed by the Heart of England Community Foundation in partnership with local organisations across the Black Country.