Who we are funded by:
Building Better Opportunities brings together funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund. The fund aims to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in the Humber region.
The BBO Project started on 1st November 2016 and is due to end on 31st October 2019
What is BBO and who is it for?
The Exploring Opportunities Project partnership consists of organisations from across the Humber LEP area. The aim is to improve the lives of 1027 unemployed and economically inactive people aged 25 or older living in the area.
The partnership will achieve this by increasing participants’ employability skills, self-confidence, local knowledge, community engagement, and personal resilience.
All BBO projects are designed in principle to include the following themes:
- Help the most disadvantaged
- Tackle social exclusion
- Be focused on the capabilities of each individual
- Lead to better coordinated services
- Create new opportunities for work
HLC leads 18 BBO local delivery partners across Humber. All partners have an excellent track record of engaging and supporting socially excluded people into employment, enterprise, and further learning.
Examples of delivery include:
- Mentoring, Inc. ex-offenders, the homeless and lone parents
- Employability skills
- Specialised disability support
- Teacher assistant training
Keyworker engagement is provided by Hull City Council, East Riding Yorkshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council.
BBO Breakfast Club
The BBO Program founded a Breakfast Club for participants which are held at Café Indiependent in Scunthorpe. The idea behind the Breakfast Club is to address social isolation, as well as discuss various topics and themes. The Breakfast Club invites other providers who are contracted to the BBO, such as Ongo and Mencap to promote the Breakfast Club to their participants. The topics which are currently being discussed at present are volunteering and employment.
On one recent Breakfast Club a participant from i2i’s BBO gave a brief discussion on his volunteering experience and how it is benefiting him. This was an excellent motivational talk which had merit because it was given by a participant about his experiences on the BBO. Following on from this we asked participants if they wouldn’t mind sharing their dream jobs if they found themselves in a position to work. Each participant contributed to the discussion and gave their chosen jobs. These jobs ranged from Gardening, working with animals to driving positions. We then linked this with the speech a participant gave about his experiences volunteering and explained to the participants about the benefits of volunteering with gaining relevant skills, experiences and employment references. The link
was understood and when asking if any participants would think about volunteering, the feedback was positive.
Over the course of the next two weeks we have discussed these topics further and asked opinions from the BBO participants on whether they would like to have guest speakers attend the Breakfast Club to explain what skills, experiences and training are required for their particular role. As a result of this Lorraine Bolton the BBO Keyworker for Action Station in Scunthorpe has arranged for a couple of guest speakers to attend on the 25th April to talk about a conservation project at Crowle Moor. This is a huge conservation project which will develop skills such as those required in gardening/grounds maintenance, as well as general labouring. Further to this carrying out volunteering has a positive impact on volunteers' health, wellbeing and behaviour. We also have a representative from Driver Hire attending to carry out a talk regarding their role and what is required to work in this sector.
This type of topic has generated an interest in the possibility of volunteering with one participant requesting and having a date scheduled to attend Jerry Greens Dog Sanctuary to discuss the possibility of volunteering. Two other participants have requested to look in to volunteering with North Lincs Council on the Grounds Maintenance Team and everyone would like to work on the conservation project at Crowle Moor.
Each week these types of discussions will take place in a friendly and fun environment to keep participants engaged. The Breakfast Club will be a perfect opportunity to discuss relevant themes to drive diversity and embed equality, as well as teaching participants about the Prevent Agenda too in the coming weeks.
Trotting his way to success!
Andrew had previously worked as a lab assistant at the Conoco refinery plant from 1991 – 2016 before unfortunately being made redundant. Andrew has mild learning difficulties and has struggled with his mental health and so when he came to Mencap & signed up to the Building Better Opportunities project, he was feeling low in confidence and self-esteem.
Andrew was unsure of exactly what job he wanted to do but knew that he liked meeting people and had an interest in gardening, decorating and home improvements. We made contact with a local store called Trotters Traders which sells household products, gardening supplies, D.I.Y tools etc to see if they would like to meet with Andrew with a view to taking him on through a work placement.
Andrew started his work placement which lasted for 8 weeks and during that time was trained in all aspects of store maintenance, customer services and stock rotation and replenishment. Chris, Andrew’s manager, gave fantastic feedback and stated that Andrew was a great team member who was reliable and always keen to learn.
Andrew’s willingness to work hard and do a good job impressed Chris so much that he was offered a part time, 16 hour, paid position. Andrew has now been in paid work for 8 continuous months during which Danielle has been completing regular work place visits to ensure that Andrew is happy and supported. Andrews hours have now increased to full time hours which he is really happy with.
Festival of Learning Awards 2019 – Learning and Work Institute
A selection of inspiring quotes from our former participants about how the BBO Exploring Opportunities project has helped them.