Thrapston Mind project boost to build better opportunities

A new project in Thrapston to help people who are not in paid work to move on with their lives will start on Thursday (January 9).

East Northants council
East Northants council

The free drop-in sessions, organised by Northampton and district Mind, will provide support for anyone who may need help to 'progress forward' with their lives.

Nikki Parrott, project lead for Building Better Opportunities: Support into Employment said: "Anyone can come along. It's for people for 15 years and up to help them.

"We will identify their positive strengths and show them what they can achieve.

People can access the service for free

"If they are struggling with their life they can come and have a chat and we can see if we can find an objective for them."

The Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project is aimed at individuals who are not in paid work of any kind, people on benefits or not registered with the benefit system at all, or people on zero-hours contracts who have not earned in the past month. To access the support they must have the legal right to work in the UK.

People can turn up without an appointment to East Northants Council Offices from 10am to 1pm on Thursday, January 9.

The sessions will then continue on the first Thursday of the month.

People can just turn up

Nikki said: "The BBO team work with individuals from a variety of backgrounds such as ex-offenders, Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETS), members of the British black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community and those who experience mental health difficulties.

"We work on a one-to-one or group basis to support individuals mental health needs and help them to break down the barriers that are impacting the individuals ability to progress forward within their lives towards purposeful activities such as employment, training or education."

Alongside the BBO project, people who turn up at the drop in with other support needs can access on the spot support.

Project workers will be on hand to offer confidential mental health support, signposting to appropriate agencies and potentially make referrals to them.

The sessions will take place on Thursdays from 10am to 1pm

Since the project first began in May 2017, the BBO team has supported 86 people, with 12 finding full-time jobs, 12 helped on to benefits or job searching and five into training.

The intensive support helps clients learn coping mechanisms to manage their mental health issues as well as employability skills gained by individuals.

Nikki said: "As a holistic service we have also supported clients with housing issues, drug and alcohol misuse, probation, financial issues, gaining access to psychological therapies, advocacy and a range of complex issues that impact an individuals ability to progress forward with their lives."

The BBO was extended in July 2019, to cover Corby, Kettering, East Northants, Wellingborough and Northampton has been further extended to cover the sessions in Thrapston.