Groundwork Employment and Skills Team Shortlisted For Award

Groundwork’s Employment and Skills Team has been shortlisted for an award for their work in helping people across Lancashire to improve their wellbeing and future job prospects.

Groundwork has been a delivery partner on the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme since its inception in 2016. The employment team, which includes over 20+ expert frontline staff and managers, has worked closely with Selnet and wider partners on the development of these projects, through to their implementation. Groundwork currently manage 3 BBO projects that support individuals across Lancashire: Invest in Youth, Changing Futures and Age of Opportunity.

In recognition of its work, the Groundwork team has been named as a finalist in the category of ‘Work or Training Social Enterprise of the Year’ at this year’s Selnet Social Enterprise Awards.

Building Better Opportunities

Since 2016, through the Building Better Opportunities programme, close to 500 individuals have been supported, with 96 individuals gaining employment. During this time, BBO projects have not only supported local residents, but also created opportunities for Groundwork to continue to develop its highly skilled and motivated workforce.

Examples of those who have recently benefitted from BBO programmes include Melanie, Kyanna and Callum.


Melanie is a full-time mum from Chorley who achieved her goal of getting back into work, after taking part in Groundwork’s Age of Opportunity programme.

Melanie says; “Groundwork and the Age of Opportunity programme have been a massive help to me. They helped me appreciate that I had skills that employers were looking for and the confidence to start applying for the type of role I wanted.”


Kyanna had always wanted to work in social care, but without any qualifications, this seemed little more than a dream. Kyanna’s mentor provided a range of advice and coaching support. Together they found relevant college courses, went to job fairs, worked on job applications and improved Kyanna’s interview skills. Kyanna has since achieved her dream and now works as a Residential Childcare worker.

Kyanna says; “I would never have had the belief to achieve any of this without Rachel and Groundwork.”


Callum, 22, had previously been out of work for 6 months. He’d also just found out he was about to become a dad, so he was desperate to find work and be able to provide for his new family. With mentor support he was able to rebuild his confidence and now works full-time at a local amusement arcade, a job that he really enjoys. Callum says that Invest In Youth has changed his life completely. He is now the proud father of a little boy and enjoying his new found responsibilities both at work and at home.

Callum says; “I am so grateful to Rachel my mentor and Groundwork. It meant so much to have someone on my side and rooting for me to succeed.”

Overcoming barriers and achieving potential

COVID and the cost of living crisis have created uncertainty and with people and families across the UK concerned about what the future may hold. Groundwork’s employment and skills team has provided support at a time when people needed it most, working remotely at one point to provide online support and maintain contact with programme participants.  The teams supports people in a non-judgemental and empathetic way. They help individuals to overcome mindsets and barriers that prevent them from reaching their potential and achieving their aspirations, no matter how big or small.

Groundwork is proud to have been able to contribute to the legacy of creating communities that are more resilient and confident across Blackpool and Lancashire.

*The Building Better Opportunities programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in England.