24th March 2023

West of England Works Project – A Celebration & Heartfelt Goodbye

West of England Works logo

Broadway Lodge has been a partner organisation of the West of England Works Building Better Opportunities project since its inception in 2017. Led by Weston College, the West of England Works programme aimed to help unemployed and economically inactive people in the west of England area to gain skills, qualifications and employment with support from an exciting partnership of voluntary and community organisations. Over its lifetime the project received £11,000,000 funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund but unfortunately, funding has not been extended and as a result, the project will sadly end on 31st March 2023.

On Thursday 16th March, Weston College hosted the final West of England Works Building Better Opportunities project dinner locally at beautiful event venue, The Winter Gardens, to celebrate the hard work and dedication of staff and participants and to also mark its ending. Staff from partner organisations and participants joined together for the evening which included a 3-course meal and participants and staff on the project were recognised for their achievements. Awards were given out for various individual successes. It was plain to see that the project has made a massive difference to many individuals from diverse backgrounds, helping them to achieve goals, personally develop and make significant changes to move forward with their lives. It couldn’t have been done without the commitment of all the staff from the partner organisations.

Wendy Ruddick (Project Co-ordinator for West of England Works at Broadway Lodge), was joined by her magnificent team and a number of participants of the project they have worked with, some of whom went on to receive awards for their incredible achievements. As one of the leaders of the project, Wendy was invited to make a speech which was very heartfelt, detailing both her commitment to her own personal recovery as well as the challenges of addiction treatment and recovery. She remembered the West of England Works participants who had tragically died as a result of relapse and also talked about the many successes of participants (some of whom were sitting in the audience) who have been engaging in Broadway Lodge’s support. She didn’t forget to congratulate those who have succeeded through support they received from partner organisations.

West of England Works Project Team

Pictured (left to right): Sophie, Sandra, Wendy, Clair, Markkus, Helen, Adrienn, Omaish

Project participant Peter with award

Participant Peter with his award

West of England Works project staff and participants

Project staff and participants

Whilst the event was a celebration for staff and participants, it also marked the ending of something great. West of England Works has supported over 3,162 young people and adults to enter employment through various community-based support programmes. All the partner organisations have specialist skills in working with people who face barriers to employment including carers, those from a BAME background, NEETS, ex-offenders, people with disabilities or long-term health issues and those with a history of substance misuse and it was sad to say goodbye to this successful programme. To see a glimpse of how amazing the project was, you can watch the video below (produced before the pandemic).




The management team at Broadway Lodge would like to say a huge thank you to all the employees who worked on the West of England Works project: Adrienn, Clair, Helen, Omaish, Sandra, Sophie and Wendy. Thank you for all of your hard work, effort, dedication, commitment, passion and absolute love for the project and its participants. We wish each and every one of you the very best for the future in all of your endeavours.

The management team would also like to say a huge thank you to Wendy for her leadership and management of the project, and continued dedication through some difficult personal times and during the challenges the coronavirus pandemic brought. It’s likely that the project would not have survived without Wendy’s passion for addiction recovery support and her personal contribution to the project.