BBOSteps 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. HomeBRIDGESEvolveBlogCase StudiesOur FundersSign UpOur Delivery Partners BBO Improving English Speaking with Bridges “I have learnt English grammar which I can use. I know how to use the past tense in the correct way and I am now developing my skills and confidence. Thank you so much for your help” Gurmeet is a 47 year old lady who came from India 6 years ago and has worked on and off since living in England as a part-time beautician. She came with her immediate family. She has not had formal education back in India due to a very strict upbringing and relied solely on her husband for financial support. She came to Aspiring Futures in 2016 after finishing her role as a beauty therapist at a local beauty salon and attended ESOL classes because she wanted to improve her English. She had felt that she wasn’t integrated into society which was limiting her work experience as a result. Even though she had over 10 years’ worth of beauty experience, she was only recruited at an adhoc basis and she felt that because of her barrier of not being able to communicate efficiently held her back from getting a full-time permanent role. Gurmeet felt comfortable in a women-only environment which had an holistic approach to skills development and provided a variety of services under one roof. She wanted to increase her confidence in a work/volunteer environment as well as customer service skills. Gurmeet felt that her life was very difficult because she didn’t understand the services that were available to her and how she would progress in the future. She wanted to improve her skills in English so that she could work independently without relying on anyone else for financial support. Her aim was to improve her family quality of life and volunteer in the community to practice communication and customer service skills. Gurmeet identified her barriers as communicating in English and self-confidence because of lack of integration into British culture. She felt afraid to speak to others outside of her home or would be overcome with panic and the words would not come out. She was not familiar with the education system and felt that Aspiring Futures was a ‘stepping-stone’ to further development. She developed team working, social relationship and communication skills as well as English grammar and conversation practice. Gurmeet is now working full time at a packing factory based in Telford. Although she is not working in the beauty industry, she feels settled in her packing role because it provides her with a regular income with benefits such as holiday pay and pension. She feels confident enough to start a beauty course at college in September so that she can get accreditation in beauty and salon job role which is full time and stable.