Call us on: 01902 256744 Coseley, The Black Country

Dawn's Story

Dawn Smith was initially referred to BBO Bridges project from Tipton Jobcentre. As a Lone Parent of two children aged 4 & 5 years old, she will soon be making the transition from Income Support to JSA, our main challenge in working together was to get Dawn employment ready and to find work, whilst considering he Childcare needs. 


Dawn has a keen interest in fashion but has not worked for a few years, mainly looking after her children. The support that she received from JST through the BBO Bridges project enabled her to find work working in a Bridal Shop – Elegance De Eliza. 


Dawn has expressed the benefit of this support, around this and other issues several times, and has stated several how grateful she is to receive it. 


“Chris [Jones – BBO Bridges Support Worker], is always available to help me, and nothing is too much trouble. He has supported me to realise my options and choices and he has really helped me to see how capable I am to work and support my family. He is always kind, fun and thoughtful”


What support did the customer receive from BBO Bridges?


This support involved liaising with various partner organization, including DWP, to ensure that this employment became a sustainable option for Dawn to begin her career progression in fashion retail. 


This included sourcing childcare, travel, and working on Employability Skills. Her BBO Bridges support worker Chris Jones, supported Dawn to the interview, running a bespoke support session which unlocked interview skills and helped build Dawn’s confidence before the interview.


How has this helped the customer?


Via the support available through BBO Bridges we regularly monitor the impact and outlook of the participant as a result of the support that they receive. We do this via an activity called ‘Distance Travelled’. The data collected through this medium has demonstrated the increase in both her confidence and independence that Dawn has displayed in managing her life and choices. 


Where is the customer now?


Dawn completed her 8 week trial and has been offered a position with the Bridal Shop, however after deliberation she decided not to take the offer of employment due to the hours available and the distance she needed to travel. However, in the time she took to make this decision she put the employability skills and knowledge gained through engagement with Just Straight Talk and BBO Bridges to use, and had already secured alternative employment. She is now beginning her employment in this new role. She is receiving support through this transition into work, and is confidently striving towards her working future.


Next Steps? 


Our next steps are to ensure that dawn is secure in her new role, and to tie up some of the support lose ends. Examples of this post-employment work include signing off benefits, budgeting and ensuring that she has a full knowledge of her benefits entitlements, having two small children and being a single mother.