Kate Hedley (far right) with fellow colleagues working on the North of Tyne Working Homes project
Our Foundations for Life team is encouraging residents to take advantage of a tailored employment support programme which could boost their chances of getting in to work, progressing in a new or existing career, or reaching a personal goal of gaining a new skill or qualification.
The team’s dedicated employment advisers are helping residents of all ages to explore their potential options, helping identify any barriers that may prevent residents from achieving their personal aspirations and goals and putting actions in place to overcome them.
Support on offer includes finding training courses and new qualification, CV writing, searching for jobs, work experience, or volunteering opportunities and interview preparation and confidence building.
The team also has a Support Fund, offering support in situations where finances are a barrier. The team spent £4,500 on residents in the last year, purchasing equipment and uniform, obtaining appropriate ID, and covering other costs incurred through the process, such as travel.
Eileen Gallon, 49 from Long Framlington in Northumberland, started working with the team after being referred by her Housing Officer.
Eileen suffers from Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain all over the body and extreme tiredness. Due to her condition Eileen was struggling to find work as she was unsure of what roles she would be able to do and what hours she could work.
Due to where she lived she was also struggling with very poor phone signal and access to the internet. She was only able to log online to check emails and job search once a week at a job search drop-in she attended.
Eileen started working with one of our Employment Advisors, Kate Hedley, who is part of the North of Tyne Working Homes project.
“After introducing Eileen to the service it was apparent that her lack of ability to communicate effectively, both via email and phone, was having a really negative impact on her chances of finding work.
“We sorted Eileen with a new smartphone through the Support Fund, as after checking the area I found her service would greatly improve with a better phone, and this meant she could start job searching more regularly from home.
“Once she was all set up and in action, we set up regular meetings together where we discussed the different job opportunities she had seen and reviewed the support she would need with any applications.
“Eileen had mentioned she was struggling with her the job search drop-in she had been attending due to the size of the group, so I referred her to Stobhill Link’s tea and toast job search session. This is a much more relaxed approach to job searching, with a lot smaller group, which Eileen felt might also help her with meeting new people, as she’d admitted to feeling quite isolated at times.”
Following Eileen’s first session at Stobhill, she was made aware of a position that was coming up at Stobhill Link as an Assistant Manager and was asked to apply. After some interview preparation with Kate, Eileen was successful in both interview rounds and was offered the position
Eileen said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kate, and recommend that she continues to give positive, employment support to Karbon Homes customers.
“She was instrumental in helping me find my perfect, dream job, assisting me in overcoming a few barriers that prevented me from moving forward.
"Getting job ready was easy with Kate, as she is approachable, well-informed and ready to help. In recognising my potential, she gave me the confidence boost I needed to aim higher once again.
"My future is bright working at Stobhill Link, and I’m truly thankful.”
In normal circumstances, the team would meet residents at their homes or in the community but over the past few months the team has had to adapt its ways of working to ensure residents can still access help.