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National Lottery boost enables BID to continue tackling social isolation & provide better job prospects for Birmingham & Solihull Deaf & Hard of Hearing job seekers

BID Services has received £458,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, enabling it to continue to fund a vital employment service to Deaf job seekers in Birmingham & Solihull. As the only specialist Deaf employment service in Birmingham, BID works with employers and deaf people, offering employment support and services in British Sign Language and other modes of communication.

This second phase of funding was awarded to BID Services following a very successful initial employment programme that had supported over 300 people since the service began. Using the National Lottery funding, we were able to support over 59 people into employment and a further 180 deaf people moved closer to the labour market, achieving positive progression into further training, volunteering or paid work.

Called ‘Step Ahead’, the new programme will be delivered in British Sign Language and other communication modes, offering  pre-employability skills, such as specialist computer skills, debt advice and health and wellbeing, before moving on to specific employment support. Over time, the service has been modelled and shaped by beneficiary need and experience, and the second phase now offers additional interventions that provides a complete wrap-around service to deaf job seekers.

Employment Manager Mark Woodall said:

“Deaf people continue to experience barriers and inequalities within the recruitment process, limiting their opportunity to find and retain meaningful work. It was so important for the deaf community that we were able to continue to build upon the achievements of our first STEP Ahead project and we are eternally grateful to The Big Lottery for giving us another chance to make many dreams come true. With this additional funding, we can move ahead and support our talented job seekers to achieve the future they deserve.

James Harcourt, Grant Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund said:

“Working with the deaf community to shape the support available to job seekers, BID Services has already made great progress in breaking down some of the barriers people experience when looking for work. Money raised by National Lottery players will continue to play an important part in supporting even more people to bring their strengths and talents into organisations across Birmingham and Solihull.”

Posted 12th July 2017