New Initiative to help unemployed: RBLI commences Building Better Opportunities Project

05 September 2016

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) and its partners have launched an innovative new scheme under the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme. It will support people who have been long term unemployed across the Coast 2 Capital LEP area in Brighton, West Sussex, Croydon and parts of Surrey.

BBO is a jointly-funded initiative between the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in the UK.   The project aims to improve the lives of participants through addressing issues which are perceived, by them, to be barriers to work.  These issues could include, general health and wellbeing, confidence and motivation as well as needed skills.  It also aims to impact the wider family unit through the involvement of family members in both participation and supporting participants.

RBLI, formed in 1919, has wide experience in working with the disadvantaged and has instigated this project to utilise this expertise to target different areas and groups of people, with five themes in mind – to help the most disadvantaged; tackle social exclusion; be focused on the capabilities of each individual; create new opportunities for work; and lead to better coordination of services.

Steve Sherry, Chief Executive of RBLI commented:  “Supporting individuals to achieve independence through work has been primary objective for RBLI since its inception in 1919.   Our long term expertise has evolved and today, helps individuals identify and overcome perceived barriers to work, helping them to break the long term cycle of unemployment.  We are pleased to be working with Coast2Capital LEP alongside the Big Lottery Fund and ESF for their support of this project.”

Lyn Cole, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “We are pleased to support RBLI to deliver this project, providing a comprehensive package of support to enable people to realise their strengths and overcome barriers to work. By addressing the root causes of long-term unemployment, it will help people increase their job prospects, skills, confidence and wellbeing.”

Participants eligible for the support are those legally resident in the UK.  Participants must be currently unemployed or economically inactive for example, on Job Seeker Allowance or Universal Credits.  This may include Carers, Care Leavers, people with multiple and complex needs, those with mental health problems, refugees, troubled families and young people.

The project provides personalised support from a Work and Health Coach, Initial assessment to identify barriers and see how they affect participants on a day to day basis, support with achieving qualifications and Life Skills and increasing work readiness.  By working with the wider family unit, support is enhanced and individual barriers to work lessened.

Further information about joining the BBO scheme can be found on the RBLI website, or by telephoning 01293 223978 or email

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) is the UK’s leading charity for providing training and employment to ex-Armed Forces personnel.  Since its creation in 1919, the charity has a mission to empower those who have served our country, enabling their transition from service to hold down a fulfilling civilian career and to ensure that no one who has served is disadvantaged.

Issued on behalf of RBLI, for further information contact Carol Byers, Public Affairs and PR Manger, on Tel: 01622 795992 or email


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