Building Better Opportunities Project

What is Building Better Opportunities

Building Better Opportunities is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund. The objective of the project is to support people who are disadvantaged economically, educationally and socially to move forward with their lives, to discover new opportunities and skills which increase independence and self-confidence and to learn work-related skills that enhance their lives adding to their sense of wellbeing. Every participant follows their own individual pathway tailored to their needs, interests and ambitions. Learners choose what skills they wish to focus on.

It does not cost anything or use any of your current funding as it is entirely funded by the European Social Fund and National lottery Community Fund.  It is open to participants aged 18 and over who are not currently in any type of paid employment. The course is run on one day a week for up to 12 months. New participants are welcome at any time.

Download the Building Better Opportunities pack

Download the Building Better Opportunities leaflet

Download the Building Better Opportunities Poster

For further details please download our project progress reports:

For further information or to apply for a place please download our promotional pack or email or telephone 01354 655080.

Gateway Course in Enterprise

As part of exploring new opportunities, developing skills and building confidence the majority of our participants choose to work on The Gateway Qualification in Enterprise.  This is a nationally recognised qualification at entry level 1,2 or 3. Participants literacy, numeracy and IT skill development within the course though it is not essential to be at a certain standard to participate as full support is given.

The learners explore their own ideas, learning practical skills as they go. Previous learners have amongst many other things upcycled furniture, made keyrings, developed environmentally friendly products and helped out with the horses at a livery yard.

We endeavour to support you to try out your own ideas. In our first year, we did a wide variety of things, from recording a promotional rap to handling money at a have a go at archery event.  The course focuses on discovering ways to earn money and develop work skills through exploring your own individual ideas and interests.

Travel Training and Community Mapping

Many of our learners have been supported to apply for their bus passes.  They decide where they would like to go and are supported to plan the trip using timetables for buses and trains. The costings and timings are then looked at before we are ready to set out. 

We also walk from our base around the local area building up confidence in getting around and accessing local business and services. 

These activities also give us the opportunity for those who wish to further develop their money skills by putting into practice the things they have been working on in the sessions.

Supported work placements and volunteering

Volunteering is a brilliant way to develop work skills, gain a sense of achievement and boost confidence. Many of our learners have benefited from volunteering on projects ranging from gardening and retail to helping out in an auction house.  We support individuals to research and apply for volunteering opportunities.

We also offer some supported work placements focusing on such things as retail and supporting others with IT skills.  This is an ideal way to develop confidence and increase work skills whilst gaining a sense of achievement through contributing.

Job Skills

Many of our participants are interested in job skills. They practise interview techniques, develop their CVs and receive support with job searches. Learners identify the kinds of work they are interested in through their experiences in enterprise and volunteering.  Through researching job roles learners decide which skills they need to further develop or gain confidence in to enhance their opportunities.

Moving On

In the weeks before completing their course all our learners work on a further development plan that identifies resources, courses and opportunities of particular interest to the individual.  

Paul particularly enjoys customer service and he went on to a long-term work placement with Specsavers in March. Read Paul’s story

Beth has moved into employment. From a temporary seasonal job at Tesco, she is now employed part-time at Morrisons.  Read Beth’s story HERE

Read Robert's story HERE

Read Michael's story HERE

Read Ben's story HERE

What our learners had to say

  • “Well I never knew I could do that”
  • “I feel like this course has helped me with my confidence, also I can now meet new people without being nervous”
  • “It’s more about finding out you have skills you didn’t think you had and have more things you can do than you ever thought”
  • “Doing things, I thought I would never be able to do”
  • “Computers used to scare me, but now I am happy working on the laptop “
  • “Doing my work in Tesco, it is the coolest job ever. I like doing my picture’s project”
  • “Love it, we have a laugh but get things done. It is like a big family”