The Breakthrough programme is a project that helps people tackle the financial barriers they face in gaining and sustaining employment. The Building Better Opportunities Programme works throughout Coventry and Warwickshire to assist people in gaining access to education and training, in addition to taking on an active role within their community.
Breakthrough works in association with Bedworth, Rugby and Nuneaton Citizens Advice Bureau. The programme is joint funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.
It is evident that in today’s society it is increasingly easy to find yourself in a difficult situation in regards to finance. This can affect people’s mental health, wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem, which all create further barriers to progressing in life.
Breakthrough provides services on a one to one basis and tailored to each individual. Our support includes the following:
- Ensuring clients are accessing the correct benefits, applying for social grants, creating budget plans, food budgeting, energy saving advice and debt support (i.e. a repayment plan if possible).
- Employability training such as, CV writing, job search training and interview training. We will also support them to enrol on training courses or to apply for and obtain employment if they are ready.
Our aim is to empower participants and help them to become more financially independent. As such we encourage participants to take ownership early on by allocating them actions and helping them to set achievable goals, enabling them to become more confident and better able to take control in the future.
Tammy* is a single mum who was referred to Breakthrough from a family hub support worker. Tammy was having financial difficulties including debts and CCJs. This resulted in her struggling with anxiety, stress and depression, in addition to a complete lack of self-confidence.
With the support of Breakthrough Tammy was able to prioritise her issues, firstly tackling the CCJs and debts. Applications to appeal the repayment figures of her debts were submitted. These were subsequently approved, resulting in a more reasonable payment arrangement, thus reducing her stress in regards to her debt. Breakthrough applied to community grants schemes for bedroom furniture for her daughter, which helped her buy a wardrobe. We applied to the Big Difference Scheme via Severn Trent and were able to reduce her water bills each month to under £4, making sure she could meet her monthly payments and set up a direct debit to keep this going moving forward. We also managed to reduce her gas and electric bills by switching supplier. Tammy is now also job searching and excited about the prospect of returning to work.
Following working with Breakthrough, Tammy is now more financially stable, her confidence and self-belief have grown massively and she feels more positive about the future.
*Names changed for confidentiality reasons
Groundwork West Midlands has been delivering on Breakthrough, a programme funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, since September 2017, and the project has recently been extended for a further 2.5 years. Groundwork West Midlands will be working with another 100 people across Coventry until September 2021, providing them with the confidence to manage their money and move towards education and employment.