Our care and support offer is wide and goes beyond front-line care and support delivery. One of our services you may be less familiar with, which is supporting our Black Country communities, is our Building Better Opportunities Project.
Building Better Opportunities is a project we’ve been delivering since 2015 across the Black Country, funded by the European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund, aimed at supporting adults aged 50 and over to access the job market.
To date the team have supported over 250 people to increase their confidence, make local connections, or gain employment or further training.
We have specialist Work and Enterprise Advisors to support individuals to overcome any barriers they may face in finding work or being ready for work, such as being out of work for several years, having caring responsibilities and lacking in confidence or being recently made redundant from a long-standing job and requiring new skills.
It’s free to participants, support is tailored to suit their individual needs and delivered at a time and place convenient to them.
Our Building Better Opportunities Team offer:
- Individual and tailored support on a weekly or fortnightly basis
- Support with a healthier lifestyle
- Free accredited training such as First Aid, SIA (Security Industry Authority), Food Hygiene, Customer Service, ESOL (English to speakers of other languages) etc
- Help with applications and interviews to gain a job
- Practical support in using technology
- Activities to improve individual’s social interaction and self-confidence.
Mark was referred into the Building Better Opportunities project in June 2022. He suffered with severe anxiety and was unable to leave his house.
Mark says: “I was very poorly with Covid and was hospitalised during lockdown. This resulted in my business coming to an end and I became unemployed leaving me struggling financially.
“The Building Better Opportunities project encouraged me to get out of the house and volunteer at a gardening group and The Men’s Shed in Aldridge. These things gave me a purpose to get up in the morning and I rebuilt my confidence.
“The scheme also helped me secure a job as a Caretaker at my local church.
“I’m so proud of myself, but I could not have done it without the support and encouragement from the Building Better Opportunities team.”
Services Manager Asima Hussain says: “Our Building Better Opportunities project gives people the confidence and support they need to rebuild their lives and gain employment.
“At times the barriers can be more complex, and some people require support to build confidence before even thinking about looking for work.
“Our team facilitate confidence building sessions which are designed with the service users and take their interests into account. For example, through cooking sessions, trips and arts and crafts. Once people have regained their confidence, we then support them to seek employment.
“Mark is a great example of the difference our Building Better Opportunities project is making to people’s lives.”
If you’d like to find out more about our Building Better Opportunities Project contact our Work and Enterprise Advisor Lisa Jarvis.