Building Better Opportunities (BBO) is a national programme from The National Lottery Community Fund who are matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.
Places Impact is a delivery partner for the Building Better Opportunities - Age of Opportunity and Invest in Youth Projects in Lancashire.
Age of Opportunity is a project designed specifically to meet the needs of over 50s who would like to work but are unable to without additional skills or support. A core focus for this project is supporting older people who are most at risk of social exclusion.
Under this project, our delivery partners work with participants to understand their interests, aspirations and barriers to work or training. Each individual is then directed within our thematic partner network for specialist support that will help them to engage in work readiness activity.
Lewis Todd, Building Better Opportunities key worker for Places Impact, has been working in partnership with colleagues at our Living+ Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre in Preston to offer extensive support to individuals accessing services at the scheme.
One of these individuals, Ziggy, was part of Mill Bank’s ‘Winter Watch Scheme’. At the age of 60 he had no income, was homeless and unemployed. He had attempted to claim benefits for a number of years without success. Ziggy also had a number of additional barriers, including poor mental health, no qualifications and a language barrier.
Lewis supported Ziggy to get his life back on track and liaised with external agencies over several months to enable Ziggy to access Universal Credit for the first time. He also supported Ziggy to secure a one bedroom flat, and after weeks of intensive employability support, Ziggy has moved into sustainable employment with a cleaning agency offering part time hours.This is perfect for Ziggy as he can manage his health around his work hours.
During this transition Lewis continued to meet and support Ziggy to sustain his employment and tenancy.
Speaking about the support he had received from Places for People through the Age of Opportunity project, Ziggy said "I am very happy to receive support from Places for People on Age of Opportunity, I went from having nothing, to having everything." He continues to access support from Lewis to ensure he maintains his current level of wellbeing.
For more information about the Age of Opportunity Project please contact our Building Better Opportunity Keyworker Lewis Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Invest in Youth project supports young people who are aged 15–24 and who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). This includes young people at risk of becoming NEET and ‘hidden’ NEETs (i.e. young people who are NEET but not ‘formally’ recorded as such).
Through this project, participants benefit from the intensive support of a Key Worker. Starting with an initial assessment the Key Worker works through each participant’s own interests and the barriers they face around entering work or further learning. Together they develop a personal action plan; then the Key Worker guides and supports the participant to achieve milestones and overcome their different barriers. By developing skills and interests, the project helps participants to be more ready for education, training or work.
For more information about the Invest in Youth Project please contact our Building Better Opportunity Keyworkers Lewis Todd (email@example.com) or Rory Monaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org)