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 Community Fund and the European Social Fund to run the project for three years, alongside 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 Community Fund and the European Social Fund to run the project for three years alongside partner organisations across East Staffordshire. Home BRIDGES Evolve Blog Case Studies Our Funders Sign Up Our Delivery Partners BBO Bridges help DG to overcome life barriers DG made a self-referral to Bridges, after receiving some information from the Thrive into Work team on behalf of the Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Following the sudden death of DG’s Partner 16 years ago, DG suffers with severe depression and anxiety. Having previously worked with St Thomas Community Network and as a college lecturer, DG found him unable to cope at work which resulted in him becoming homeless. After receiving ongoing treatment and stabilising his medication, DG started to get slowly back on his feet with support from the council. Suitable accommodation was found, which allowed DG to start receiving benefits and his widowers pension. DG soon became keen to look for work and get back into employment. Initially DG was very protective with what he disclosed, which left him reluctant to discuss anything upon referral to the programme, he appeared very wary of healthcare professionals. Gradually a mutual level of trust was built through regular meetings, which enabled me to get a better understanding of DG and what interests him. DG found a role in the Thrive into work team that he was interested in applying for. Working together, we discussed how DG wanted to portray himself, we completed his application and DG wrote a personal statement as well as supporting information for the role. After successfully being shortlisted, he was selected for an interview. DG struggled around this time due to meaningful anniversaries. Following 2 sessions covering interview questions, interview techniques and role playing mock interviews, DG subsequently became more confident. On the day of DG's interview I met with him beforehand to calm his nerves, and run through any last minute queries he may have had. We met directly after the interview, giving him the opportunity to articulate how he felt the interview went, which appeared to really help him. The following week we found out that DG had been successful at his interview, and had been offered employment. Throughout our meetings DG's confidence became more apparent, he also showed more enthusiasm to being in control within his personal life. DG was evidently glowing with pride, and oozed peace and confidence, often relaying how excited he had been to tell his family of his success and their praise for him. He went on to fix his car, using it as a means of transport for his new job. DG encountered some delays in his employment checks over several months, leading DG to question his ability for the role. The confident persona that he'd started to develop, suddenly started to dull. During the festive period he fought extremely hard not to slip back to his previous outlook. I constantly chased the employment department for DG, as did he, to move things forward ensuring they knew he was still keen to take up the offer of employment. During the festive break DG received the long awaited news of a start date and his unconditional offer of employment. It was hugely rewarding witnessing the transformation in DG. It is hard to believe that 6 months ago, DG had been unwilling to engage with anyone outside of his close social circle. DG is now a confident professional individual, working as a Vocational specialist for an NHS Trust, helping individuals with mental and physical health issues get back in to work. Well done DG!