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Paul has gained confidence and a new job thanks to BIW2!

Paul Thompson Edit

Paul Thompson initially signed up to the Bridges into Work 2 project having been unemployed for almost six years. During this time, Paul had experienced a number of barriers to employment and had become socially isolated.

Julia Davies, a Mentor on the Bridges into Work 2 team, met with Paul and worked with him to put together an action plan to start to overcome his barriers, and to get him back into voluntary work and/or paid employment. They discussed some employability options, as well as some training courses that were available to him, and it was decided that Paul would attend a five week ‘Personal Confidence’ course with one of the Skills Trainers on the project, along with an Employer Liaison Officer to help secure a suitable voluntary placement.

Paul began the ‘Personal Confidence’ course having given up on his long term hobby; playing and listening to music. He had sung, played the drums and the guitar in bands for most of his life, but due to his loss of confidence since being unemployed, had put down his instruments and stopped playing and listening to music.

During the five week course, Paul was able to set himself weekly targets, and chose to focus on learning to play music again. Taking advantage of the weekly personal confidence sessions and discussions he was able to have within the small group, he eventually started to learn the guitar again, which was a huge personal achievement. Not only that, but a couple of weeks after finishing the course he even played in front of a small crowd of people at a local music festival!

The confidence gained from achieving his goals has helped Paul to settle into a voluntary position at Kenfig Nature Reserve. He is incredibly thankful for all of the support he has received from everyone in the Bridges into Work 2 project team.

Paul said: “The personal confidence course was very encouraging and insightful, non-judgmental and empowering. It has helped me a lot with my self-esteem.”

“I’ve attended similar courses before but this one was different because the group was small, the sessions were all really helpful and I learnt new ways to build my confidence levels.”

New Year and new job for BIW2 participant!

A 61 year old gentleman who lives in Coychurch was referred to the Bridges into Work 2 project by ARC (Assisting Recovery in the Community). He was last employed in 2006 as a Warehouse & Shipping Controller but gave up his job to look after his mum who had been diagnosed with dementia.

After meeting with Hannah King (Bridges Mentor) his criteria was checked and he was accepted onto the project. The next meeting was with Hannah and Simon Richards as his designated Employer Liaison Officer to give careers advice and to help search for employment/volunteering opportunities.

Simon helped source four employment opportunities and assisted in helping the participant fill out application forms as well as putting together a more current CV.

The Bridges into Work 2 Skills Trainer, Adam Johnson met with the participant next and identified potential training issues/opportunities and offered some helpful advice on interview techniques.

The participant sat an online accredited course on the subject of ‘Your Job Role’ which is designed to help new starters in a ‘Prepare to Care’ role.  

Out of the four applications, he was invited to attend three interviews, the first being with the Alzheimer’s Society based on Bridgend Industrial Estate. The interview took place on the 11 December and he was offered the position of Community Support Worker on a 24 hour a week contract. Up to this point his only income was his Employment Support Allowance.

Following a successful medical check, the participant will be starting back to work this month and stopping his claim for ESA.

He has been a text book participant and was very, very grateful to the Bridges project for all the assistance.

Participant bags new job in local supermarket thanks to BIW2 support

Another participant who is 58 and living in the Maesteg area was a self-referral from a leaflet drop organised by the BIW2 team. She was last employed in 2014, in a customer service role but gave up this job to look after her husband, who had been diagnosed with health condition.

After meeting with Hannah King (Bridges Mentor), the criteria was checked and she was accepted onto the project. During the next meeting with Hannah, the participant was offered careers advice and helped with her search for employment opportunities. Hannah worked with the client, who originally wasn’t looking for employment, however, together they developed an action plan to help her realise her goals and the steps she needed to take to get there. Hannah offered further support through one-to-one appointments, working on IT support, and creating an email account and the development of a CV.

The participant also identified further training needs to help enhance her skills and open doors, as a result, she attended a First Aid course which Bridges into Work 2 arranged. 

It was also apparent that the participant needed some extra help regarding interviews; Hannah arranged for ‘Interview Techniques’ training to be put in place by trainer, Adam Johnson.

The client soon felt ready to try and go back to work. Hannah helped source over five employment opportunities and assisted in helping the participant fill out application forms, practicing and revisiting the interview techniques along the way.

The Bridges into Work 2 Skills Employment Liaison officer (Simon) also supported the participant with access to Job Clubs in Maesteg, Halo and further targeted vacancies.

The participant was supported by Adam Johnson, the Skills Trainer to complete online courses in Food Hygiene (level 2 and 3).

The client attended four interviews in total, in various settings including catering in hospital, a Bakery Manager and a Supermarket Counter Assistant.

The participant was offered paid, full-time employment as a Supermarket Counter Assistant and has now gone onto apply for the Area Manager role as career progression.

The participant was very grateful for the support received by the team, as it has meant an increase in the quality of her life and good career prospects. 

Comment from a BIW2 participant:

 “I’d like to thank BIW2 for giving me the confidence in meeting new people, using a computer, going for an interview and being successful. Also, coming into Porthcawl to meet the team, catching a bus and going into work for the first time in a long time has been really helpful.

“I’ve gained such a lot of different experience in such a short space of time, from December until now. I’ve used a computer to help me gain my Food Safety and Hygiene (Level 2) certificate which has helped me get into a new line of work.

“I feel more confident in communicating with more people and it’s given me the confidence to achieve my goals.”

Last Updated: 31/01/2017
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