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 Philip improved his life with support from Evolve "When my JCP Tamworth advisor contacted me about the JTW Evolve course, I thought Oh No not another JCP style course! Same old, same old, heard it all before. But how wrong I was! This was actually very enjoyable informative and useful delivered with humour and empathy from staff who fully live and understand it” Philip was initially interviewed after a referral from a JCP advisor at Tamworth Office as being a hard to engage client, but someone who had more than one barrier who needed help with issues like engaging, socialisation and managing his health condition as well as finding a purposeful aim in life.Barriers include social isolation, custodial sentence of 5 years ending in 2012 as well as Epilepsy - light sensitivity.Philip is currently on ESA support group and has been on this benefit for 48mths prior to enrolling for our course.Philip in his early life aged 18-25yrs has worked in various roles covering gardener and then demolition man but his Epileptic condition deteriorated and has continued to deteriorate to the current day, although stabilising more recently in the last 2 years to a couple of seizures/episodes per week. Philip has been on various drug trials up until this time, until finding his preferred medication. “Instead of being stuck in my bed sit with no purpose to move out and integrate, I had got into a rut.With attending this JTW Evolve course and meeting new people in Tamworth and the way the course was delivered in an informal way with DRC staff coming from a similar background I no longer feel alone and isolated” Philip’s life took a turn for the worse when he was given a criminal conviction in 2007 ending with his release in 2012.Philip has never really used a computer and never had an email address or job searched prior to doing this course, so with the aid of the DRC team and time Philip is gradually coming to terms with being target driven and action planned in these areas and finding the results rewarding in everyday life.Philip uses a bike as a form of transport out of necessity due to lack of funds and to remain independent, this is not conducive as a safe form of transport due to his epileptic-light sensitivity when he uses it at night the on-coming traffic LED lights have caused seizures. On various occasions this Bike riding and LED light situation has ended with Philip coming off his bike into the road and waking in an ambulance on the way to A+E. We looked at this situation and found that Philip was eligible for a free bus travel pass due to his condition, Philip had been aware of this but could not afford the £12 for his doctor to sign the form with the relevant evidence and had always just passed this off, so our DRC Evolve team persuaded Philip that this was part of managing his health condition so we assisted him to obtain this. The Evolve team actively accompanied him to the doctors and with funding and 3 visits to his G.P. surgery he is now awaiting his new Bus Pass with travel anywhere in the U.K. Life changing and something he openly admitted he would never have got around to doing on his own. With regards to the courses other achievements and the impact on Philips life whilst completing the 12 week JTW Evolve course, Philip feels his total denial with regards to computers and their place in modern society has changed with the hand holding process from DRC staff. He had never job searched or used universal job match, but is now doing so with his new “own” email address without breaking anything! He will now travel in safety on Public Transport and feels he has a new feeling of belonging with a greater understanding of Benefits, health condition management, also a new perspective on employability skills. He now feels empowered by the equalities Act 2010. During the 12 week JTW course Philip has at times turned up for the course with his arm in a sling straight from A+E due to a seizure or episode of epilepsy the night before. This kept the course numbers up as he acted as a role model of tenacity and commitment.