A PROJECT which supports people who face multiple and complex barriers to move towards employment has changed its name as part of a major rebranding exercise to help reach more potential participants.

My Future is the new name of what was formerly the Building Better Opportunities Getting Cumbria to Work (BBO GCtW) project.

A new logo and promotional material have been created and a new website with content which clearly spells out how people can benefit from the project is about to be launched.

“Our hope with the rebranding exercise is that it increases the number of people who can find us and access us for support,” said My Future project manager Natalia Wealleans-Turner.

The My Future project supports people in the Barrow and South Lakes area aged 18 and above, who are either unemployed or economically inactive and are furthest removed from the labour market.

Since 2017, the project has worked with more than 480 people, helped 91 participants gain meaningful jobs, helped 100 people obtain education and training and given 73 people job search skills.

“We consulted with our partners because we wanted to know if the original name, Getting Cumbria to Work, adequately reflected the holistic nature of the project and its aims - the overwhelming consensus which came back was that it did not,” said Ms Wealleans-Turner.

“They felt the name neglected, or did not reflect, the wider project remit, which is about enabling people to acquire and build skills and helping them improve their confidence and health and well-being, all of which contribute to their employability.

“We decided some people might see the old title - Getting Cumbria to Work - and think that, because they did not feel ready for work at that stage, the support offered by the project was not for them.

“We wanted to be clear about the people-centred ways we can help people. We are not just pushing people into work - the project is about building foundational skills and self-confidence to bring participants nearer to the labour market.”

The new name My Future was chosen, a logo was created and new branding colours were selected. All the project’s leaflets have been updated and partners have been issued with new banners, T-shirts, hoodies and pens to help them promote the project in the community.

“We have updated all our promotional content to make it simpler and clearer,” said Ms Wealleans-Turner. “The aim is to make it easier for people looking to access support to reach us.”

Participants in the My Future project have complex barriers to gaining employment. They have included refugees from countries such as Syria and Iraq; people with childcare issues or lack of access to IT; people in recovery from substance issues; people with mental health issues and those who had been out of work for a long period of time.

Each participant is assigned a keyworker and one-to-one sessions are held to develop an individual plan to identify and help them achieve their goals.

Specific help can include help with writing CVs; guidance on how to use job search websites; funding for childcare, training courses and IT equipment; support to find work experience placements and voluntary opportunities; and help to find suitable jobs.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme. It is led by Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) in partnership with three charitable organisations – Right2Work, Women’s Community Matters and Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS).