The Better Lives Partnership and Bridge to Employment Programme came about because whilst Andy Margerison, our founding trustee, realised that there was no positive destination for some of his pupils when they transitioned out of education. For some young people they find when they finish schooling they are not ready to go into employment, or go straight to college. However, for some pupils they also did not require the services of the Activity and Resource Centres. He and the previous Chair of our Board of Trustees (Dave Bleasdale) set about creating a positive destination for these young people.
The pilot B2E Programme was funded by the Holywood Trust and opened for business in September 2017 with 5 young people and 5 members of staff.
Better Lives Partnership aims to give young autistic people a structured programme of person-centered accredited training in their area of interest and expertise, work-related skills and to prepare them for the next step towards employment, self-employment, education, training or volunteering.
Since opening our first site in Castle Douglas in September 2017 Better Lives has extended to open B2E @ Wigtownshire in Stranraer in January 2020 and a third location; B2E @ Nithsdale/Annadale in Dumfries from August 2021.
Our projects aim to develop and deliver a range of opportunities for children and young people with Autism and related disabilities in Dumfries and Galloway. Each programme starts with the young people and builds on their existing skills and attributes rather than focusing on a career area.
There is not time limit thus enabling each young person the time and support they need to achieve their ‘best’ outcome and each programme is flexible and able to be guided by the needs of the individual young person.
Currently we offer; Bridge to Employment; Bridge to Business; and Bridge to Creative. To find out more more about each of these projects and what their aims are for our young people go to their individuals pages.