Pathways into employment

Early engagement

It is recognised that education, employment and training are protective factors in ensuring that young people are able to achieve their potential and become independent and self-sufficient.

Some young people may need more intensive support to enable them to overcome the barriers they are experiencing which can make it harder for them to engage in and sustain education, employment and training.

In this section you will find information on services, advice and guidance on how they can overcome some of these difficulties in order to move forwards and achieve their potential. For ease of use, information is grouped by category to make it easier to identify services and provision that may be beneficial and help you to move forwards.

Early engagement programmes

Building Bridges - supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work. Local programme partners include Madanu, who offer opportunities and support to people over the age of 16 who require long or short term support, and SMASH, who provide 1:1 mentoring and small group work with young people aged 9 to 19 years.

Get Ahead - New College Swindon - offers a range of qualifications and experiences to help develop a range of skills from money management to building confidence and resilience. Get Ahead is a stepping-stone to employment, full-time education or an apprenticeship.

Walk and Talk programme - the Walk and Talk programme has been designed for young people aged 13+ who are out of education or home educated. It provides the opportunity to engage with others, whilst exploring ways to look after their wellbeing. For more information see the walk and talk programme overview. You can also email:


Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue - run the SPECTRA programme (formerly known as the Salamander Project), Fire Cadets and other youth engagement programmes.
Volunteer Police Cadets - training on how to use radios, first aid, using personal protective equipment, health and safety and the foundations of law.
National Citizen Service - a 3-4 week experience for 16 & 17 year olds to take part in social action projects and build skills for life and work. 
Community First - offer a range of programmes and support, including Building Bridges, the Wiltshire Young Carers Service to keep young people safe in their caring roles and equipping them for the future, and SPLASH which provides positive activities & youth worker support for young people who are facing challenges in their lives.
Prime Theatre - offer Arts Award national accredited qualifications from Certificate to Level 3 and work placements for young adults aged 11+.
Swindon Libraries

Alcohol and substance misuse

Young people's drug and alcohol service - provide advice, guidance and one-to-one sessions for young people who are having problems with drugs and/or alcohol. The service is free and confidential.
Connect Wiltshire - Swindon & Wiltshire Active Recovery Service for anyone who is concerned about their own or someone else’s substance misuse.
UTurn - a specialist service providing help/guidance to young people (and their families) who have alcohol and/or drug problems.

Autism spectrum conditions

Discovering Autistic Spectrum Happiness (DASH) - independent local charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life of adults of working age (18+) with Asperger Syndrome and other high functioning Autistic Spectrum Conditions living in Swindon.

Community projects

Penhill Community Café - a community programme for volunteers to help improve the area.
Create Studios - provides outreach projects, internships and work experience.
Reach Inclusive Arts - an arts charity promoting inclusion for disabled people and seeking innovative ways to entertain, involve and educate through high quality community projects in a range of art mediums.
Swindon Advocacy Movement - independent and accessible advocacy service in Swindon. Also provide community based projects for children, young people and adults.
Starting Point - provide mentoring and creating opportunities for young people aged 15-25. The Starting Point flyer gives an overview of their services. You can contact them to make a referral or by completing the Starting Point referral form.

Online and remote support

Become - charity for children in care and young care leavers. Become also provide the Propel website, providing Care Leavers with information on support available to them from Colleges and Universities offering Higher Education courses across the UK.
The Rees Foundation - offers help and advice to care leavers and those with care experience, and run a number of projects and support services such as careers coaching, financial and housing advice, learning to drive, and mentoring.
Careerpilot - careers information and tools for 11-19 year olds, all in one place.
Amazing Apprenticeships - extensive range of resources, including information on Traineeships, Intermediate and Higher Degree Level Apprenticeships.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) - Law Enforcement Agency to help keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online.
Thinkyouknow - information and advice to keep yourself safe if something happened to you online.
Coram Voice - offers support and information for children and young people in care, on the edge of care and care leavers. 
CSW Group - provides free information, advice, guidance and support to people of all ages to help them to enter work and learning.
Adviza - provide free information, advice and guidance to help you get into work or progress in your career.
PUSH - offers advice on everything from tips to succeeding in school to all post 16 options, college, university, apprenticeships and the world of work.
Natspec - Natspec is the membership association for Specialist Colleges. Their website has a college finder for parents/carers to help them find a college to suit the needs of their child. 
Pluss - an award winning Community Interest Company (CIC) that supports thousands of people with disabilities and other disadvantages move into employment each year.
Refugee Council - information and guides on helping refugees into work.

Physical and mental health

NHS Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) - supports children and young people with emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties.
NHS Great Western Hospital - provide healthcare to the people of Swindon and the surrounding areas.
Headway - brain injury rehabilitation centre, providing support for service users and their families to enable them to lead as independent lives as possible. 
IPSUM - mental health and wellbeing centre supporting Swindon and the surrounding area.
Kooth - Online mental wellbeing community offering a range of support. 
Richmond Fellowship - mental health charity offering a range of support, including helping people look for and apply for work, voluntary work, training and stress management within the work place.
Swindon and Gloucester Mind - provide advice, support and wellbeing services to those experiencing a mental health problem.
TWIGS Community Gardens - local health and wellbeing charity which provide nature-based activity in their therapeutic garden in Cheney Manor.

Homelessness, supported and independent living

Stonewater - a social housing provider, including affordable properties for general rent, shared ownership and sale, alongside specialist accommodation such as retirement and supported living schemes for older and vulnerable people.
Booth House- provides accommodation, education, training and work opportunities to people experiencing homelessness.
Citizens Advice Bureau - provide help and advocacy with benefits, work, debt and money, family, housing, law & courts, immigration, health, and consumer issues.
The Trussell Trust - support a nationwide network of food banks providing emergency food and support to people locked in poverty.
Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (SWA) - provide a range of flexible and accessible services to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Counselling and trauma support

The Nelson Trust - provision of treatment and support for people with an addiction, including a dedicated residential addiction treatment provision for women who have been impacted by trauma.
NSPCC - leading children’s charity in the UK, specialising in child protection and dedicated to protecting children today to prevent abuse tomorrow.
Willows Counselling - counselling services offering help on a range of issues including: relationship difficulties, bereavement and loss, redundancy and major life changes.

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