Building Bridges Programme Celebrates 1st Anniversary

by | Nov 3, 2017

In November 2017, we are celebrating the first anniversary of the Building Bridges programme in Swindon and Wiltshire. Community First is proud to be leading this unique and successful partnership and we wanted to take some time to reflect on the amazing things the partnership has achieved over the last 12 months.

The Building Bridges programme is an ambitious partnership of 40 organisations working together to help people overcome their barriers to employment and education across Swindon and Wiltshire, by offering one to one support, training, skills development and other support services. The programme is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The programme will run until 2019 and our overall aim is to work with 1,827 participants with at least 21% of these individuals moving into employment and a further 29% moving into education or training.

We are delighted with the results of the programme so far and our partners are delivering great results with individuals facing multiple, complex challenges and barriers to work or education. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some case studies and positive stories from the programme.

Achievements in 2016-2017:

  • We have received a total of 610 referrals into the programme over the last 12 months and we currently on target.
  • Over 60% of these participants currently have a plan in place and are actively working towards their goals with the support of key workers.
  • A further 26% are ready to receive support from partners as soon as their eligibility is confirmed.
  • Over 85% of participants who have registered with the programme are actively engaging with the help and support on offer.
  • 86 participants have already successfully moved into employment or education, which is a fantastic achievement.
  • Over 35,000 people have visited the Building Bridges website and the website continues to be a key channel for referrals into the programme.
  • We have accepted 97% of referrals into the programme so far and those who were not suitable were signposted to other support services.
  • The programme is now up to full speed with all 20 core delivery partners actively working with participants.
  • We have streamlined our referral process to make it easier for people to register and get the help they need.
  • We have been working closely with referral organisations including voluntary and community groups, housing associations and statutory teams in Wiltshire and Swindon. Our rates of referral and registration continue to grow as news of the programme spreads across Swindon and Wiltshire.


Building Bridges programme manager Dave Potts said;

“We are really proud of what Building Bridges has been able to achieve in its first year of operation. We have built a really strong partnership of organisations who are working collaboratively to help support our participants. We have also built very effective links into both statutory and community sector organisations to raise awareness of the programme and to work with them to jointly support people.”

We would like to thank all of the partners involved in delivering the programme over the last 12 months. We have already achieved so much by working together and we look forward to seeing what the next year will bring.

Stacked Funder Logo