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Life after BBO – Matthew’s Story

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small local projects. Building Better Opportunities is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, the project is designed to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion throughout Worcestershire.

Matthew was unable to continue in the line of work he had done previously due to his health. BBO supported him to complete an IT course and begin an apprenticeship with the NHS. Matthew has now completed his apprenticeship and been successful in obtaining a permanent Administration post for Worcestershire NHS. We recently caught up with Matthew who received support from BBO in 2017 to see how he is getting on.

What was the biggest factor in making you decide to join the BBO programme? 

Kidderminster JCP referred me to BBO after I had been claiming benefits for a short while. I wish they had referred me earlier as the opportunities and support I received from BBO was a vital part in setting me up for my future.

Due to my health I needed to change my career path and BBO was able to offer me the tailored one-to-one support that I needed to accomplish this.

What part of BBO supported you the most?

My Job Coach Jo, the coaching that she gave me was invaluable. She was able to teach me to recognise my skills and turn my negativity into positivity.

I found that I was not very strong at selling myself on an application form and previously I would not get past the application point. Jo taught me how to complete a strong application form and how to be positive about my skills. She also gave me support on how to prepare and be confident for an interview.

The advice Jo gave me around how to go about changing my career path and the confidence that I gained whilst on programme enabled me to apply for an IT qualification at HOW, without this I would not have been able to secure my position at the NHS as a Business Admin Apprentice.

How did BBO help you to achieve your goals?

The tailored support that my Job Coach Jo gave me whilst I was on BBO enabled me to identify my skill set and build my confidence. We broke my goals down to be achievable steps and worked together to succeed in reaching them.

BBO is a whole package of support; it gave me the armour I needed to go into battle.

What do you enjoy the most about your job and why?

Everything, it was lots of work to get here but everything tied in and all linked up to get me where I am now. The NHS offers lots of new opportunities and thanks to BBO, my college course and the experience I gained from my apprenticeship means I am now able to consider these opportunities.

Without Jo and BBO I would never have had the confidence or experience to apply for the job in the Health Minds Team, I can’t wait to get started.

How has having a job and being in education changed your life?

It has given me a massive boost in my self-esteem, I hated not being employed and now I feel like a productive member of society with a purpose to get up and get out the house every day. BBO and my team at the NHS were so supportive. I was able to complete my apprenticeship feeling on cloud nine.

Working for the NHS and being able to support people makes me feel like I am achieving something positive and giving back, I am a cog in the big wheel but it’s nice to know I am doing my part and making a difference.

What advice would you give to other people thinking about joining BBO?

Do it!! Ask the JCP to be referred to BBO or call yourself, the team at BBO genuinely care. If I could or needed to do BBO again, I would welcome the support and would want to join asap.

I just want to say a massive thanks to my Job Coach Jo for all her help and perseverance, I really appreciate it.


* Participants name has been changed for the purposes of privacy.

Published - 02 May 2019