Dawn was referred to the BBO Bridges project from Tipton Jobcentre. As a Lone Parent of two children aged 4 & 5 years old, she was faced with making the transition from Income Support to JSA, our main challenge in working together was to get Dawn employment ready and to find work, whilst considering her Childcare needs.

Dawn has a keen interest in fashion but had not worked for a few years due to childcare commitments. The support that she received from JST through the BBO Bridges project enabled her  to build the confidence and skills needed to find work and she is now preparing to start her first job in years after a successful 8 week trial in a bridal shop.

Dawn says she is grateful for the support she received on the Bridges project, stating:

“Chris [Jones - BBO Bridges Support Worker], is always available to help me, and nothing is too much trouble. He has supported me to realise my options and choices and he has really helped me to see how capable I am to work and support my family. He is always kind, fun and thoughtful”

The support provided to Dawn through the BRIDGES project involved liaising with various partner organisations, including the DWP, to ensure that employment became a sustainable option for Dawn to begin her career progression in fashion retail. This included sourcing childcare, travel, and working on her basic Employability Skills. Her BBO Bridges support worker Chris Jones supported Dawn in preparing for the interview, running a bespoke support session which unlocked interview skills and helped build Dawn’s confidence.

Dawn completed her 8 week trial and was offered a permanent position with the Bridal Shop, however after deliberation she decided not to take the offer of employment due to the hours available and the distance she needed to travel. However, in the time she took to make this decision she put the employability skills and knowledge gained through engagement with Just Straight Talk and BBO Bridges to use and had already secured alternative employment! She is now preparing to begin employment in this new role and is confidently striving towards her working future.

Bridges offers end to end support for participants, so our support doesn't just end here. Our next steps are to ensure that dawn is secure in her new role and to provide with some post-employment support, for example helping Dawn to sign off benefits, learn to budget and ensure that she has a full knowledge of her benefits entitlements as a single mother with two small children. We are confident that Dawn has a bright and prosperous future ahead of her.

 “The support that Chris from JST has given me has really helped me get back into work, I am so grateful for all of his help, and he was a big factor in helping me get my new job. JST and Bridges helped me with everything from finding childcare, organising travel, speaking with the Jobcentre to pay for my travel, and they even helped me buy some clothes and shoes to wear to work"