People in Action

Nichola Verity Chief Executive Officer at People in Action tells us a bit about the organisation and the services they provide in Leeds.

Describe People in Action…
People In Action is a charity that provides support for people with learning disabilities. Our aim is to empower people with a learning disability to fulfil their potential and lead safer, healthier and better connected lives.

We do this by providing meaningful person centred opportunities that enable our customers to develop their independence skills, increase their confidence, have fun and make friends and reach their personal goals.

We run a range of learning programmes, social groups and also provide one to one support.

What is the background to the organisation?
People In Action was established in 1983, to provide services to people with learning disabilities across Leeds.

What services do you provide / which projects do you deliver?

We have a range of different services:

Count Me In (CMI)

Count Me In is a one-to-one support service tailored to meet the individual needs of our customers.

Our support workers help our customers to; be more independent, manage money, travel safely, improve health and wellbeing, engage in social and leisure activities, access education, volunteering and employment opportunities, make and maintain friendships and much much more.

Health and Wellbeing Programme

Our Health and Wellbeing Programme is designed to help our customers improve their health and wellbeing, learn about personal safety and connect with friends old and new. We work with people to develop their independence skills, increase their confidence and reach their personal goals.

The service offers a range of 12 week learning programmes, where customers have the chance to gain a certificate through the National Open College Network (NOCN) and the Arts Award, develop their skills, have fun and make friends:

Be Well – Learn about fitness and nutrition, take part in exercise based activities, develop a fitness plan and try out different sporting events across the city. Tuesdays from 1pm – 4pm

Body Image – Workshops that explore how to keep yourself safe, happy and healthy. We talk about lots of different issues, from how we build and maintain safe relationships to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Wednesdays from 6pm – 8pm

Connecting Lives – A social group that enjoy evenings out, visiting bars, restaurants, nightclubs and leisure activities in and around the city. there’s two age groups 18 – 25’s and 25’s and over.

Design It Yourself – A creative art group where you can explore the works of artist, create your own work, develop your skills and exhibit your work to share your achievements with others.

Dramability – A performing arts group, where you will get the chance to explore movement voice and drama whilst building your confidence and making friends. You will also have the opportunity to take part in your own production.

Ready, Steady, Cook – We have find talking about food, cooking and eating together. Learn about healthy food, plan and prepare a meal, shop for the ingredients, develop your cooking skills and learn how to be safe in the kitchen.

Employability – Learn about volunteering and how it can improve your skills, experience, confidence and employability. We will signpost you to different and varied opportunities.

Independent Lives – Learn to be more independent and improve your life skills. You will learn about managing your money, paying bills, household chores, shopping and cooking on a budget.

Outdoor Pursuits – Improve your fitness, learn about the countryside code and how to stay safe when in the outdoors. Enjoy lots of countryside walks as well as taster sessions in climbing, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits.

Changing Lives Service

The Changing Lives Service is made up of ten social groups for adults with learning disabilities. Groups run in the evening at different locations across the city.

We provide a safe environment where customers can socialise and try out a variety of fun activities, from cooking to music and sports. The groups have regular external visitors such as musicians, theatre companies and fitness/dance teachers who help facilitate the sessions.

Play, Fun, Learn!

Our Play, Fun, Learn! scheme is for children and young people aged 8 – 18. As the name suggests, the group provides its members with the opportunity to play, have fun and learn through a variety of activities and trips.

The sessions are held in an environment that is both safe and welcoming, where members can get involved, make new friends and enjoy their free time. We offer places to the siblings of our members too. The sessions run 40 weeks a year.

Find out more…
More information about the services and when they run is available on the People in Action website.

Who is on the team? (staff and volunteers)

The core team is:

  • Nikki Verity | CEO
  • Nigel Wood | Service Coordinator
  • Michelle Major | Finance Manager
  • Charlie Meikle | CMI Manager
  • Deborah Armitage | CMI Manager
  • Lisa Hudson | CMI Manager
  • Becca Neaves | Changing Lives coordinator
  • Owen Walker | Wellbeing coordinator
  • Bob McDougall | Development worker
  • Awtar Sagoo | Volunteers Coordinator

There is also have a large team of tutors, group leaders, support workers and volunteers that help to run our services.

What is the best thing about your job?
Seeing our customers grow, develop and achieve their goals makes me want to come to work every day.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

If you had a super-power what would it be and why?
The ability to clone our amazing advocates for people with learning disabilities.

If you could give someone you know an award, who would it be and why would they deserve it?
I would like to give an award to one our customers Paul. He is true role model, he always takes a positive approach to life, never giving up and smiling through the ups and downs. Paul inspires me every day.


June 2016