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Severnside South, Bewdley with fusion logo ontop

A 'paw' in the right direction

Sarah was referred to Building Better Opportunities (BBO) in February 2019 by her support worker to gain some support with finding her suitable employment. It was apparent during Sarah’s first job coach appointment, that she was extremely enthusiastic and committed to the area of work she wanted to be involved in.

Sarah’s passion was to work with animals, she either wanted to become a veterinary nurse, RSPCA inspector or find a similar role within the animal field. But she wasn’t sure how she could get into work in a role she was passionate about, so she decided to seek the advice of BBO. 

Her job coach, Laura, was able to help her with this. Along with supporting with her finances, aspirations and self-confidence, Laura also created a tailored plan to promote her development. Part of the plan involved Sarah receiving support with identifying her skills, reviewing her CV and cover letter, brainstorming and researching into suitable opportunities (voluntary and paid work) and the best avenues into these.

Sarah and her job coach attended a local Jobs Fair to identify suitable options and also arranged some work experience in a Veterinary Surgery to support Sarah’s experience, skills and confidence within this environment.

Sarah said: “My time at the vets was a great experience, its confirmed that I definitely want to work in that area, and it allowed me to build relevant knowledge and skills.”

With Laura’s continued help, Sarah was able to review her options. One of which was to attend University to become qualified in the Veterinary field, but due to her circumstances, she didn’t feel this was a suitable option for her, so the focus was to identify Veterinary Nurse Apprenticeships/ Traineeships instead. However, this proved difficult as these opportunities are unfortunately few and far between. In order to keep all options open and to continue support Sarah with becoming independent, Sarah and Laura also focused on searching and applying for local animal related jobs.   

With the work experience under her belt, Sarah started receiving more positive feedback from job/ apprenticeships applications and managed to secure 3 interviews in the space of a week, all within animal care/ animal retail. Sarah prepped with her job coach for each of these interviews, allowing her to feel more confident and at ease before attending. Luckily, after one of the interviews, she was offered the job, which she excitedly accepted!

Sarah started working as a store assistant in a large Pets retail store in July 2019. Although, this wasn’t the ‘perfect’ job that Sarah was originally looking for, she was in a much better position than she was previously, being more financially stable and independent.

Sarah said: “Being on BBO made me realise there were some areas that I wanted to work on which were really important before I can progress with my future career choice. We decided to create a future action plan, which focused on continuing to work at the Pets retail store, whilst saving to fund driving lessons to hopefully pass my driving test by the end of 2019. I also wanted to include working towards identifying a Veterinary Nurse placement so I can train on the job and one day become a qualified Veterinary Nurse.”

Laura said: “I am so pleased and proud of Sarah and all of her achievements through BBO, she has been great to work with and an absolute pleasure to support. I wish Sarah every success for the future and know that with her motivation, enthusiasm and commitment, she will one day make a great worker with the Veterinary field”.

Sarah said: “BBO has been a great experience and opportunity, it has given me a positive outlook and a new found confidence in myself, thanks Laura”.

Our Building Better Opportunities programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery Community Fund designed to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion throughout Worcestershire.

If you or anyone you know would benefit from the support of a dedicated Job Coach who will work with you to build on your own strengths and abilities to gain the confidence and skills to move into work, please get in touch by calling 01562 733133 or email  

Published - 22 Oct 2019