BBO Steps to Work are the lead organisation on two Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Projects which aim to help people overcome their barriers and reach their individual goals with expert help and guidance. If you would like to speak to us about either of these projects, you can call us on 01922 627555 or view our list of partner organisations here to find out who you can speak to about accessing the project. The BRIDGES Project Steps to Work are the lead organisation on the BRIDGES project, which covers the Black Country area offering support for people to overcome their barriers no matter and move closer to the job market. Steps to Work has received over £10.5 million from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund to run the project for three years, alongside 29 partner organisations across the Black Country. EVOLVE Steps to Work are the lead organisation on the Evolve project, which offers the same support to participants in East Staffordshire. It covers Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield and Tamworth. The project has received over £3 million from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund to run the project for three years alongside 18 partner organisations across East Staffordshire. Home BRIDGES Evolve Blog Case Studies Our Funders Sign Up Our Delivery Partners BBO Adam's amazing journey with Evolve, part 1 “At last I have found someone that really understands how I feel. There should be more courses like this for people like me. A chance meeting and a life changing career opportunity within 12 months, I would like to help others get the help that I have had. Why could I have not had this help and support earlier?” Adam had worked for a company in Cannock called Gestamp he worked as a machine operator in the automotive parts industry from 2012-2015. Gustamp had an organisational restructure on working practices in 2015 that had an adverse effect on the process of working practice that affected Adams role and put him under pressure to achieve. This was the starting point for the flare up of Adams GAD (generalised anxiety disorder). Adam was forced to leave his role due to his ill health and due to his lack of knowledge with regards health condition benefits ESA (employment support allowance) found himself on universal credit JSA (job seekers allowance) where again he found himself under pressure to job search and find gainful employment with little or no support or understanding with regards managing his mental health condition. Adam then reeled from one bad work decision including Farm foods, 3mths to the Range a couple of weeks with little or no support with regards managing his condition or employment longevity. Leading to his mental health and confidence and esteem spiralling downwards. Adam was offered the opportunity to join the Journey to Work course run over 12 weeks, (1 day per week) by Disability Resource Centre one of the Evolve project partners. The course was a holistic approach to employment or volunteering opportunities covering employment soft skills, health condition management and benefit and debt advice. Adam after an initial consultation with the DRC (Disability Resource Centre) delivery team agreed that this was a course that he felt he would benefit from and agreed to start the course on 15/3/2017 completing on 31/5/2017. Adam successfully completed the course and stated he had greatly benefited from the course content, enough so that he had completely changed his perspective on the direction he wanted to go with a view to a career giving longevity. Adam showed an interest in one of Cycle R’s volunteering projects in Cannock with an initial interest in bicycle mechanics. Cycle R are also one of the Evolve partners so a meeting between DRC, Adam and Cycle R was arranged with a view to referring Adam onto their project whilst initially being joint supported by both organisations for an interim period of 6 weeks and then Cycle R taking full control after that period. Although in reality contact and progress was followed by both organisations exchanging phone call updates. Adam also went on to do some peer mentoring with Starfish another Evolve partner covering clients with mental health conditions and sharing his experiences, strength and hope with new vulnerable clients of theirs. I have been made aware by Cycle R that Adam is to be offered an apprenticeship on their customer service desk commencing in September/October 2017. Adam is now he says, building a new life and career in his home town of Cannock…where less than 12 months ago he could see no future life at the end of the tunnel.