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BBO Bridges Case Study: Taking Steps for New Career Aspirations

Diana* joined the BBO Bridges project with Walsall College in June 2022. She had been unemployed for over 5 years. She did not have a CV or qualifications to speak of. She also lacked employability skills.  Diana was struggling with multiple mental health challenges, which led to regular panic attacks. She felt overwhelmed and lost when we first met her. All these were adversely impacting her self-confidence and self-esteem.

She was nervous around new people. She felt very uncomfortable about the idea of being in groups of people. She had no idea of what she wanted to do but she reckoned that she had to do something radical to change her life and start moving forward.

We eased Diana gently into our small workshop groups, gradually building her trust in us and getting to know her better.  She surprised us by coming along on a group visit to the Black Country Living Museum and participating in the group Team Working and Confidence Building activity.  She began to build up her confidence, chatted and laughed more. Most importantly, she began to think about the future in a positive way even though she was still working through difficulties in her personal life.

Next, we worked on Diana’s employability skills. We worked with her on creating a CV, introducing skills for job searching, submitting job applications. We also worked with her on interviewing skills. Along the way, Diana realised that one of her dreams was to become a Paramedic. Taking steps to realise her dream, we signed her up for voluntary roles and enrolled her into an online Paramedicine course.

Another step to take was to get Diana some general qualifications, so we encouraged her to enrol onto Maths and English Functional Skills courses at Walsall College. She was assessed at Entry Level 3 and started both courses in late September 2022.

With her new CV, employability skills, and newfound confidence, Diana started applying for roles as part-time Carer to do alongside her studies. Despite a few knockbacks, her determination was unwavering. At last, she was offered a Care Assistant job with a local Healthcare company.

Diana has a bright future ahead of her now. She is very excited but nervous at the same time.  We are proud to see how far she has come since first joining the project. We will watch her journey with a smile on our faces and cheer her on if she ever needs us to.

Bridges is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. For more information about the project, please visit stepstowork.co.uk/bridges or contact us on 01922 627555.

*Due to confidentiality, the name of the participant has been changed. 

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