We are pleased to announce that on 31st Match 2021 BOS Business Office Solutions CIC has successfully completed their ‘Link-Uk Project’ funded by the Black Country ESF Community Grant.
The project aimed to support those currently suffering with loneliness, low self-esteem and lack of opportunities from some form of social and/or social and digital isolation. To tackle personal barriers, build confidence, increased mental health and wellbeing and improve opportunities in the Labour market, for both women and men of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and experience. Due to Covid and the restrictions imposed, all workshops were delivered online using MSTeams. Clients were also supported on a one-to-one basis through phone calls, whatsapp calls, video chats, and Teams.
The barriers faced by these clients were acknowledged and faced through talking on a one-to-one basis, various workshops and exercises that the clients could practise and use during the sessions and on their own. Each client’s specific needs and barriers were identified early on in the programme, the support they needed was catered for each individual in the one-to-one support provided, as well as the recommendations for the workshops that were available to them. A large number of clients enhanced their IT skills, felt more positive and gained an increase in confidence. A number of clients were isolated and had mental health issues prior to Covid lockdown. The programme has given them a lifeline not only to connect with others but to also gain some new / brush up on their existing skills. Clients have said they have learnt so much more about themselves, coping strategies, including better ways of keeping physically and mentally healthy.
21 clients signed up to the programme and completed the workshops; all felt they had benefitted from the programme. Twelve clients have gone onto other programmes run by Access to Business, to support them with job readiness. One client has gained employment, and we will continue to work with her to find further suitable employment. Another client has recently gained a part-time role, prior to attending the programme this was something that this client felt she has achieved due to the intervention and interaction she received on the programme. Five clients have gone onto part-time Education to further their skills and support them in gaining future employment and three are on waiting lists for courses due to start between June – September 2021. Remaining clients have said they feel better prepared to take their next steps to begin looking for paid / voluntary work or apprenticeships, that they have joined other Access to Business programmes. Clients have spent time on a one-to-one in creating / updating a professional CV, which they have started using, which has been a big boost for these clients.
Clients have also attended an Interview skills workshops and job clubs. For some clients this has lead, to their feeling more prepared and confident when applying for roles and attending interviews. Clients have received one-to-one support with their interview preparation by holding mock interviews. Others were supported with their job, volunteer or further education search and applications.
Client quotes following the end of the programme:
All clients said they had enjoyed this programme, the learning experience was very informative, and that they feel more confident.
Many have said they would recommend this programme and one like it to a friend.
“The workshops and 1:1 chats with Hemy have been wonderful, it’s been a big deal for me and that’s the truth!” I have enjoyed it so much more than my experience with other providers!
From the programme I feel less stressed and more relaxed. Receiving the journal was a nice surprise and I have found it very useful, interesting and helpful to me. It has given me the courage to cut out the negative people in my life and concentrate on what is important to me.”
“I have enjoyed the 1:1 support and joining as much as I did”
“I feel the support I have received from Hemy has enabled me to attend workshops when I felt I could. I have learnt some new things from attending the workshops. I feel I have progressed and am now ready to try to engage with others more.”