The Building Bridges programme supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work. Taking part in the programme is entirely voluntary and all the advice and support is offered free of charge.

The programme is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery via the Big Lottery Fund.

*Betty was successfully supported through Building Bridges in 2019 and overcame multiple barriers. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a degenerative auto-immune disease that had a significant impact on her mobility and ability to manage her everyday life. The seriousness of her condition meant that in the early stages of her treatment, she was unable care for herself. She had Carers coming to her house every day to help wash and feed her, as well as support her to take care of her 2 teenage sons.

By 2018, Betty had found the right medication and was able to start caring for herself again. She began swimming, she was feeling stronger and felt in a good place to start looking for employment. She joined the programme in December 2018 to get some advice and support on finding part-time work that would be manageable for her.

The Building Bridges team helped Betty to establish what roles she could manage and would suit her skill set, as well as creating her a new covering letter and CV. To further enhance her chances of securing work, she completed a mock interview with Senior Managers in the Employment and Skills team at Wiltshire Council. Betty received great feedback which boosted her confidence.

In November 2019, Betty attended an interview for a Bookings Administration role. It was a role that Betty felt would be ideal for her. The hours were part-time (21 hours per week) and the location was close, so she could still be at home to support her sons. An hour after her interview, she was contacted by the employer who was so impressed with her, they offered her the position. She started her new job in January 2020.

Betty is extremely happy, and this result shows that her strength and determination has paid off. She has created a new way of life for herself whilst managing her health and supporting her sons.

If you would like more information about Building Bridges visit Work Wiltshire.

*participant name changed to protect identity

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