Paul's Story

Paul's Story

“BBO coaches are the ones who believe in you and give you the confidence that you can achieve things.”

Paul, a BBO customer and BBO volunteer speaks about his BBO experience

Since starting the BBO programme, the biggest difference in my life is definitely my new confidence. When you’re on the right path going in a good direction it does incredible things for your self-esteem and I feel inspired all the time when I’m working with the BBO coaches.

During my younger years I spent a lot of time in treatment and recovery for mental health conditions which meant it was difficult to go through traditional employment routes. I enjoyed volunteering at a few different places once I felt well again, but nothing seemed to be quite right for me, or lead to employment.

After my wife and I got married, we had two children – the second of whom was born with a genetic disorder that took 7 years to fully diagnose. For those 7 years our time and energy was focused entirely on getting the right diagnosis for him, so any development or career potential for me had to be put on hold. 

Once I finally saw that my son was getting on okay in school and was settled with friends I knew I was able to focus back on myself. That’s how I ended up being referred to BBO. 

I think it’s safe to say that I had my first ever light-bulb moment with BBO. One of the Work and Enterprise coaches encouraged me to do a strengths based test and the results showed that I was good with numbers and had a strong ability in finance related work. Suddenly it all seemed to make sense!

In previous employment and volunteering roles I’d always been encouraged to go down a path relating to my passions – football and sport – but this was different. This time it was based on my strengths. At the moment I’m using my new found skill set to volunteer in the BBO data office and I love using excel. When the numbers all match and I know I’ve done it right I get that glowing feeling! It’s really rewarding. 

Now I’m looking forward to a future where I can be employed in a Finance role, and the long-term dream is to work for an organisation or a social enterprise that gives something back to others. As long as I have time for my family and a job I love, I can’t ask for more than that. 

South Yorkshire Housing Association

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