Building Better Opportunities is a national programme from The Big Lottery 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. We are one of over 60 partners who are helping people to overcome barriers, improve their employability skills and to secure fulfilling occupations.
Invest in Youth 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). Under this project, participants receive intensive support from a Key Worker to be able to engage in work readiness activity. Following an initial assessment of each participant’s interests and the barriers they face around entering work or further learning, the Key Worker guides the participant to achieve milestones agreed within their personal action plan.
Changing Futures project is focused on supporting individuals who face multiple and complex barriers to employment. All participants are unemployed or economically inactive and are at high risk of social exclusion, such as people from BAME communities, people with physical or mental health problems and people with learning difficulties. The Changing Futures model prioritises the holistic needs of the individual. Using an asset based approach, participants are supported through Transformational Coaching to understand their abilities, skills and interests and identify ways to address their multiple barriers to economic activity.
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 ‘Navigators’ 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.
We are delighted to have been featured in one of a series of Lancashire’s Building Better Opportunities films – here’s a snapshot of the programme and the difference we have been able to make from the perspective of one participant:
Building Better Opportunities is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020, and is investing in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.
Three Building Better Opportunities projects in Lancashire are being delivered by a partnership of over 60 organisations, led by Selnet (the Social Enterprise Lancashire Network). ‘Age of Opportunity’ supports people over 50, ‘Invest in Youth’ supports 15-24-year olds and ‘Changing Futures’ supports people with multiple and complex barriers to employment. Services cover the whole county and delivery partners have been selected to meet the specialist needs of the people that will receive support.
Over three years, three specialist projects will help transform the lives of 3270 disadvantaged people, providing support tailored to their individual needs and interests to overcome complex barriers and move towards work and training. For more information visit www.selnet-uk.com/bbo