Building Better Opportunities: Getting Cumbria to Work

The start of a New Year always provides a great opportunity for reflection on the year gone its challenges, achievements and setting our intentions and goals for the year ahead.

The BBO GCtW team and project has undergone significant change in 2019- many of these changes despite being difficult and at times worrying,  have been necessary for the next phase of the BBO.

BBO GCtW Changes and Challenges:

We are now a smaller team after the loss/change in a number of our colleagues, including Ali Barnes, Barry Harrington and Jo Collin – all of whom have been absolutely vital in setting up and driving the project and to whom we give thanks. The current team brings together a good range of qualities, skills and experience and are excited about moving forward together, trialing system changes to ensure a more simple yet increasingly effective approach to project delivery, development and management.

BBO GCtW Achievements:

Below are some of our achievements in 2019 and there have been many, including:

  • Successfully supporting and working with a wide range of participants across the project
  • The delivery of some successful and innovative participant activities including Christmas Wreath making, a Gong Bath and a basic First Aid course.
  • Supporting participants to exit the programme and start to use their new skills, experience, confidence, to move forward with different aspects of their lives
  • An improved and more honest relationship and communication with our delivery partners
  • A positive new relationship with the other two Cumbrian BBO projects along with a commitment to learn and share for the benefit of our project


BBO GCtW Priorities for 2020:

As we look to the New Year and our intentions, during the coming year we will focus on:

  • Delivery of more activities to support participants experience a wider range of support
  • Greater partnership working to ensure the successful delivery of the project.
  • Improved marketing and a enhanced referral process to ensure that more eligible participants can benefit from the project
  • Evaluating all aspects of the project to support project improvements, future partnership working and possible future joint project.
  • Looking at what might be next for the partnership and project beneficiaries.

As always, for further information about this project and/or upcoming events, please contact the team on 07462 055134 or visit the BBO GCtW website:

Getting Cumbria to Work: Barrow and South Lakeland (GCtW) is a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project that serves the local authority areas of South Lakeland and Barrow. This programme is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) who are co-investing in local projects tackling the root causes of worklessness, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth. It is one of three projects in Cumbria being funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the National Lottery Community Fund and is led by Cumbria CVS.

BBO GCtW aims to support and work with individuals who are facing multiple and complex barriers to employment and who are furthest removed from the labour market. It will help them to move towards and into employment by supporting them to play a greater, more productive role in their communities, demonstrate increased skills and confidence and be much more likely to consider employment or volunteering as a viable prospect.