The Building Bridges programme supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant 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 of our advice and support is offered free of charge.

The Building Bridges programme logo along with funding partners Big Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund

About Building Bridges
Meet the Team
Case Studies
Vacancy Bulletin
Contact Us

The Building Bridges programme is a partnership of local organisations who are experts at supporting people and giving them the skills and confidence they need to move towards the world of work, education or training. We work with people on a one-to-one basis to help them address the challenges and barriers they are facing and develop a personalised plan to help them achieve their goals at a pace they are comfortable with.

We understand that there are many different factors which affect whether people feel ready to take the next step forwards – this is why we also offer specialist help and support in a number of areas including developing physical and mental wellbeing, accessing debt and financial advice and help with issues such as transport and childcare.

The programme is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund. You can find out more about the Building Bridges programme and our funding and programme partners by visiting the Building Bridges website.


To be eligible for the programme you must be;

  • Aged 15 or over, living in Wiltshire or Swindon and currently unemployed. Please note that we are not able to work with anyone who is employed in any capacity, but we can work with people who are on zero-hours contracts that have not received any income from employment in the last three months.
  • You must have the legal right to work in the UK in order to take part. The programme can support registered refugees but is currently unable to work with asylum seekers.
  • The Building Bridges programme is also unable to work with people who are currently in prison.

Meet The Team

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I have been working on Building Bridges since July 2017, I enjoy meeting lots of new people, finding out about them and supporting them to move forwards in life. I have lots of experience of working in roles helping people overcome barriers in their lives through providing 1:1 support.

My specialism is working with young people. I enjoy my job because its very rewarding and a privilege to be able to help someone and see them overcome their barriers and achieve what they want in life.

I have been with the Building Bridges team for 3 years now, the best part of my role is seeing the difference our work makes to the people we support…it isn’t always just about that final job or education outcome (although this is a fantastic achievement), it is about the journey and it such a pleasure to see how much our participants grow in confidence and self-esteem.

I am a qualified Careers Adviser, and my speciality lies in everything to do with employment. I have spent a lot of my career understanding the recruitment process and am competent at giving advice on things like on what employers look for in a potential employee, what skills/qualifications you might need for a specific job and how to develop/get them if you don’t have them – I am ready to help you get there!

A lot of people join Building Bridges thinking that they haven’t got anything to offer an employer, but once we dissect their lives a little and see all of the different things they have done personally and professionally, they see how their different experiences have helped them to develop skills they didn’t even know they had. I get a huge sense of achievement when my participants move into employment and we usually celebrate with cake!

I have spent 3 months working as a Development Worker with Building Bridges, I have been on the project myself and so I know how well it works! Having been on the project as a participant myself, I feel I can bring confidence to our participants as I have experienced some of the barriers they may face.

The best part of this job is helping participants overcome barriers and see them able to move forward in life, whether that be in employment, education or training, each participant has a different journey and I am really happy to support them along the way.

I also have previous training in counselling and I have also volunteered for other support services, therefore I do understand people well and I am able to help them build confidence to be able to make a difference in their life.

Whilst I am one of the younger Development Workers on Building Bridges I myself have faced challenges and I overcame them as a result of the support I received, I want people to know to not be afraid to ask for help, I have dyspraxia and was told I would never get to where I am now and I want to show and encourage people to be the best they can and not let stigmas and barriers prevent them. We are all strong in our own way and I have learned to support myself now through self-help but would not have achieved this without the brilliant work practitioners provide. I use a range of resources and provide a holistic and person centred approach to make people feel heard and respected.

The best part of being a Development Worker is that I have seen how far people, from their lowest points of life, can overcome many challenges and become their better self. I enjoy seeing the journey of their progress without them feeling judged or stigmatised. It great to see that they feel they have someone on their side and seeing them surprise me with their hidden potential is amazing.

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I have been a development worker with the Building Bridges programme since November 2021. The best part of my job is undoubtedly my participants. It is a real privilege to be able to support, encourage and empower people to overcome their barriers and achieve their goals. In addition, a great part of my job is being part of an amazingly supportive team, who are committed to improving the lives of the people of Wiltshire.

I have personally faced significant challenges in life and been supported to overcome barriers.  My personal experience enables me to empathise with, and appreciate, the challenges faced by my participants. I enjoy the role because I am able to see my participants grow in confidence and achieve their full potential.

I have a vast experience supporting people back into work, since 2008 and I have been working on the Building Bridges programme for nearly 3 and a half years. The best part of the job is meeting new clients, helping and supporting them with their journey and barriers.

I love my job especially working for the Council and a great team I am a part of, I get such a buzz when the clients achieve their goals.

I am fairly new to the Building Bridges team and work behind the scenes with finances, admin support and anything else that is needed. My background is a Team Leader role for the Prince’s Trust Team programme so I know how beneficial receiving help from our development workers can be in helping them to achieve their goals and go on to succeed in life.

The best part of my job is working alongside an amazing team of enthusiastic people who are committed to helping people develop new skills and find themselves again along their journey and make incredible changes to peoples lives.

Even though I’m hidden away in my office I am still able to bring a range of knowledge of employability skills and local information on other groups and support in the area. I absolutely love my job and it feels great to be part of a team where our main goal and focus is to continue to help those who need it the most.

Case Studies


Philip self-referred himself onto the programme in September 2021 as wanted help to find employment considering his age (60). Philip has had employment support before but never found it to be that helpful and always been done over the phone. Philip has a physical health issue which meant he had to change career from warehousing to something more stationary. Over the time with Building Bridges Philip has achieved the following:

 ·       Felt supported and have confidence to be work ready. In past felt CV and Cover letter never really reflected the true him, was not reflecting his voice. The CV and Cover Letter the Development Worker completed with him reflected Philips’s experience and skills in a clear concise way. So much that his CV has been noticed on Indeed where prospective employers have called him up to enquire if suitable for a role, they have available.

 ·       Able to find his next career path and upskilling via online courses that fit his needs. This includes competing a Business course with Go Train and currently undertaking a payroll course. Finding personal joy and happiness in going back to education.


Recently had a review with Phillip and feedback was:

 “Building Bridges support has been pretty comprehensive and given me the confidence to focus on something of my own interest. It given me that glimmer of hope that one day an opportunity will present itself and that I can still try to work even though I’m older than most.”  

When Ben joined Building Bridges he was already attending courses through Inner Flame, he expressed he needed a male role model and met with his development worker who has been providing face to face support since June 2021. He has also attended the Build a Bike programme gaining a AQA qualification, made friends on the programme and learnt how to complete a CV and format a cover letter.

Ben said;

The support from my Development Worker is A-Plus, been very supportive, I feel in a better place confidence wise and feel I would stick in a job once in it. Given me the push to overcome my mental barrier of not progressing, feel prepared for the workplace and improved my social confidence and communication. I have also improved my sleeping patterns and being on the programme has given me routine.

Dylan originally did not come onto the programme as was not the right time for support, but he got back in touch at a later date. Dylan was completing some online courses with inner flame it as this was remote, he felt he needed a male role model to support him to move forward in his education and employment. I (Sean) was allocated Dylan and I sent a one-page profile to him introducing him to my skills from a brief phone call of talking about his interest in music he felt comfortable to engage from there we meet in person and have been having weekly meetings face to face since June 2021 to build hup his confidence employability and education passion.

Dylan has undertaken a lot of activities during his time on the programme these include:

– Attending build a bike and gaining AQA qualification in dissembling and reassembling a bike. Feedback from tutor was “Dylan really thrived in the sessions, got on with it without much hesitation and became one of the lads ie.. he bantered a lot. He worked hard and really enjoyed the sessions. Dylan started off shy but near the end of sessions he really came out of his shell”.

– Making friends with another participant of his age and sharing their interest in music and having connections together outside the development worker regime.

– Becoming work ready by being shown how to format a cv transfer transferrable skills and complete cover letters. Applied for a couple roles together.

– Attending on online course run for building bridges participants, Dylan said it has helped with his sleep pattern and given him a routine and helped changed his mindset.

Dylan’s feedback from the programme:

“The support from my development worker is an A-plus, been very supporting, I feel in a better place confidence wise and feel I would stick in a job once in it. Given me the push to overcome my mental barrier of not progressing, feel prepared for the workplace and improved my social confidence and communication”.

Dylan currently has three opportunities lined up which includes a music internship which he has independently applied for himself through some help and tips from his development worker. I am confident that overtime Dylan will get to where he wants to be from being on the programme.

Vacancy Bulletin

Live vacancies from across Wiltshire are shared in our Vacancy Bulletin each week – this can support your job search and give a picture of what is available in the job market currently.

Vacancy Bulletin (01/06/2022)

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