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We help man unemployed for seven years find work through the Building Better Opportunities programme

A man who struggled with employment has been helped by one of our job coaches through the Building Better Opportunities programme (BBO).

George, who has been diagnosed with autism, met our BBO Job Coach, Catherine Scarlett, at a local voluntary group where she introduced him to the programme.

Previously George had been prescribed medication which changed his personality, resulting in aggressive outbursts. This led to social services and the police turning up at his family home and moving him to a hostel.

After moving to a third hostel George was physically restrained while having a meltdown because he wanted to leave to go back home. George lashed out and it resulted in a conviction for criminal damage and actual bodily harm.

George was moved to a hospital specialising in autism – where he was gradually taken off the medication that caused the change in his personality.

Eventually he moved back home with his family and he joined the Worcestershire based organisation Our Way. This helps vulnerable adults and young people take part in social events.

George, who is now living in Hereford, met our Job Coach Catherine when she visited Our Way.

He said: “It took me seven years to find work because of my conviction but Cathy gave me a confidence boost – I was going to give up with employment because of the negative responses I had from other organisations when applying for jobs.

“Cathy and I saw a job online and I decided to fill in the application to get used to the process. I ended up being given an interview and I was offered the job.

“I was looking for voluntary work to begin with, but the Building Better Opportunities programme allowed me to get into paid employment.

“I definitely have more self-confidence and I feel a lot happier, more valued and appreciated thanks to the scheme.”

This Building Better Opportunities programme is funded by the European Social Fund and match funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and we are one of the partners in the project. It helps people who are unemployed with work experience and job opportunities throughout Worcestershire.

George added: “People shouldn’t be afraid of the programme, they should give it a go. The job coaches make you feel comfortable and you shouldn’t give up on your hopes and dreams.”

Our Job Coach, Catherine Scarlett, says: “It is a fantastic result that we have managed to help George get into employment after he struggled for all these years.

“He just needed a bit of support and we are so pleased that we were able to give him this as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme.

“We are so pleased for George and we are looking forward to helping many other people with the scheme too.”

The programme has been running for two years and George is one of the people we have helped.

So far Cathy has worked with 45 individuals across Worcestershire – four have been helped into education, 10 into employment and four have left the programme to individually job search.

The programme specifically helps those furthest from the workplace with a focus on overcoming barriers such as drug and alcohol addiction, mental ill health and homelessness.

Funding for the programme has been secured until September 2022 and it will help anyone in Worcestershire who is unemployed, has a legal right to work in the UK and is of working age. Most of the participants – around 60 % – are our tenants who have been referred by our money advice, lettings and neighbourhoods’ services.

Those who would like to contact the programme should contact us on 0300 790 6555.

The Building Better Opportunities programme is collaborative programme with Vestia, Fusion, the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.

It will receive £6 million of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.

For media enquiries contact our Communications Team.

Building Better Opportunities