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Continued CommitmentThis successful project helped over 500 people into work by providing intensive one-to-one support to individuals and families who were experiencing significant labour market barriers. The FEI Nurse also assisted over 130 unemployed people with their health needs, many of which were related to mental health and musculoskeletal issues. Project funding has now ended but the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is committed to maintaining services in Bolsover District, and the potential to continue the nurse provision is being explored

Family Employment Initiative Case Studies

Names have been changed to protect people's identities.

 

'Jodie'

'Jodie' came to meet with the FEI advisor at a Community House in Bolsover District. The local Community Champion, who is was her neighbour, also attended the initial meeting to support her. The Community Champion, who is also involved with credit union activity, had been supporting 'Jodie' since moving into the area several years ago.

'Jodie' was very open and explained her life experiences and what she hoped to achieve in the future. 'Jodie' has two sons and has raised them as a single mum, both are now grown up and left home.  'Jodie' had previously been in a very abusive and violent relationship, Things came to a head in 2006 when she had a serious car accident.  Her car was written off but miraculously she walked away from it.  From this point forward, 'Jodie' became extremely low and depressed, really struggling with her mental health and self esteem. She spent most days in bed, not bothering to get up, or to get washed and dressed.

Slowly with support from her neighbour 'Jodie' began to rebuild her life; she became more outgoing, had help with budgeting and her finances and began to realise there was more to life than staying in bed.  She began to have more days on the sofa than in bed and started to gain confidence and think about doing something with her life.

'Jodie' had previously had a really good job which she enjoyed, and during this period of her life she was full of confidence, even winning awards for being the top agent in the District.  She was beginning to think about her former life and the prospect of returning to work.  The FEI advisors and 'Jodie' discussed several ways in which FEI could support 'Jodie' and enable her to find work.

Firstly, a CV was discussed and put together along with exploring the types of work 'Jodie' would like to do.  She loved helping people and identified that she would like to work in a care or support role so volunteering was suggested for a few hours a week. She had never considered this and the FEI advisors explained that it would be a brilliant way to get some recent work experience and a reference.  'Jodie' was very interested and a meeting was set up for the following week with CVP. 

'Jodie' was worried that she would be worse off by going to work, and we established that she could have a better off calculation done at the Job Centre or approach Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre. She decided on the latter, and the Community Champion agreed to accompany her. The outcome was that she would be better off by a small amount each week. When 'Jodie' left after that initial meeting, she was beaming with enthusiasm and excitement about her future prospects. 

CVP came to the second meeting the following week and explained the benefits of volunteering.  A local Resource Centre was suggested as a good start and 'Jodie' agreed as it was within walking distance of her home.  She completed the relevant paperwork and a meeting was to be set up with the Volunteer Coordinator.

In the meantime, CVP were delivering an Introduction to Care course, consisting of Food Safety, Health and Safety and First Aid. 'Jodie' decided she would benefit from attending this and enrolled with a friend. The FEI advisor supported 'Jodie' to complete a CV for her. 'Jodie' was very proud of the CV and showed her sons.

After her interview for the volunteer placement, she was offered two sessions a week as a volunteer.  She settled in straight away. 'Jodie' said that on her first day, she was desperate for someone to stop her and ask where she was going so she could tell them “TO WORK!”  She explained to her FEI advisors that even though it was unpaid, she felt so very proud walking down the hill, and at how far she had come in such a short space of time.

'Jodie' was assisting elderly residents on and off the bus at the Centre, checking bingo numbers, assisting with drinks and meals and generally anything else she was asked to do.  She loves her volunteer place and will consider applying for paid employment when her confidence levels have increased. 'Jodie' also went on to complete the Introduction to Care course and is currently awaiting her certificates. 

 

Mr G

Mr G was referred to FEI by our community nurse; He had to leave his last place of employment due to ill health, but progressed with the support of the FEI community nurse to feeling more stable with his health and able to put in place measures to minimise the effect his health condition had on his day to day life. Mr G felt ready to start looking for work.

The FEI advisor produced a development plan with Mr G setting small achievable goals each week. This provided Mr G with something to focus on preparing him for work and increasing his confidence as each goal was met.

The FEI advisor carried out numerous sessions around CV building and job search.  Opportunities on line were explored matching Mr Gs transferable skills and interests. Mr G decided that he would prefer to look at volunteering options to help him get back into a routine and help to build up his confidence as well as gaining some valuable work experience.

Through looking at various volunteering websites, Mr G decided to apply for 2 placements; one in retail for a local charity shop and one in administration for the local (CAB) Citizens Advice Bureau.  Mr G was successful in gaining both placements and is currently working 1 day a week at each of these, and is enjoying both immensely.  Mr G commented that he is now backing in a routine and feels that his health has improved and his confidence levels are increasing daily. The FEI advisors are now supporting MR G to start looking for paid employment.

 

'Josh'

‘Josh’ signed up with FEI on 8 September 2010 and was supported by FEI for just over a year. He was referred to FEI by Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce via the e2e programme.

‘Josh’ was 17 years old and as he did not have any direct paid work experience, he was anxious about how he could put together a suitable CV.  The FEI advisor was able to boost his confidence and identify his transferable skills through relevant life and work experience, such as his voluntary work placements, two periods of work experience and his job as a paper boy two years previously which lasted for a year.  All this information, though undervalued by ‘Josh’, demonstrated his commitment to follow through any task that was set along with his reliability and desire to work.

To further enhance the CV and to support ‘Josh’ in his choice of vocation he was referred to Critical Skills to undertake SIA training.  After training he subsequently passed the exam to gain his HABC Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (QCF).

With continued further support through job search and interview techniques as well as the completion of application forms, ‘Josh’ was invited to attend an interview at a local company. ‘Josh’ was successfully appointed and his self esteem has dramatically improved as a result.

 

'Jordan'

 

'Jordan' signed up with FEI on 11 January 2011.  He had been made redundant from his previous job and felt very disillusioned as well as his confidence being affected by the way in which he lost his job.

'Jordan' had gained most of his experience in retail as a shop assistant and, after progressing, as a duty manager. Due to his experiences in the retail sector he expressed an interest in exploring many different options, one of which was in the care sector.

'Jordan' was referred to the Raising Aspirations programme to build his confidence.  In addition he was referred onto the Care Gateway organised through BETI to allow him to explore alternative career options.  The advisor and client compiled CVs together and 'Jordan' began to actively job search.  He successfully completed a Food Safety Certificate and the Moving and Handling Certificate through BETI and has commented on how much he enjoyed the courses.

Over the following few weeks 'Jordan' became noticeably more vibrant and positive about his possibilities in the job field. He was able to change his focus from the negative experiences of being made redundant in his last post and was able to look to the future.

This positivity and willingness to change career direction enabled the advisor and 'Jordan' to work together to consider a wide variety of vacancies.

'Jordan' was invited to interviews and on 27 June he began working full time at a local “Pest and Reptile “store.



'James' succeeds with Groundwork

 

'James' was referred by the FEI Community Nurse to help with his transition into employment.  He was seeing the FEI Community Nurse due to on going physical health issues which the Nurse had began to address with him.

When the FEI Community Employment Advisor (CEA ) first met 'James' he had very low self esteem and lacked confidence.  For his first four meetings his mother attended with him, he was encouraged to come on his own, and it was explained to his mother this would improve his confidence.

Slowly over the next three months he became very comfortable seeing the CEA and opened up to his future plans.  On top of his list was to gain employment, preferably in the catering industry, as this was where his passion lay.  Together with the CEA a CV and covering letter was compiled. Although he had not had any paid employment he did take part in a six month work placement with Derbyshire Chamber in a café to give him hands on experience.  'James' ran many job searches, and when he visited the CEA he always had something to apply for, and through his determination and support with completing application forms from FEI, he started to be invited for interviews.  As 'James' did not have any suitable interview clothes, FEI paid for a pair of shoes, a smart shirt and a pair of trousers.  For each interview the CEA ran through what he needed to do in terms of his appearance i.e. wash and iron his interview clothes, bath or shower, make sure his nails were clean etc. which in turn this improved his overall self esteem.

Although he was not successful with any of his interviews, he was not deterred and the CEA continued to support 'James' to search for a suitable position.  The CEA encouraged 'James' to look at applying for an apprenticeship and supported him to complete the forms for Chesterfield College apprenticeship programme. In addition the CEA supported 'James' with the completion of two applications for an apprentice warehouse person and a catering assistant through Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme. Whilst this did not result in a suitable apprenticeship 'James' could see the advantages to an apprenticeship.

Finally the CEA supported 'James' with the completion of an application form for a six month paid position as a catering assistant through Groundwork Creswell. 

He was invited to interview with Groundwork and was successful.  He was delighted and could not wait to start.  He said he could not have gotten this far and secured a paid position without the support of FEI.



Three clients who care!

Three clients all looking for care work registered with FEI in November 2010.  All had been on Job Seekers Allowance for more than 12 months and were referred to the FEI Team by Jobcentre Plus.    

'Jackie' is a lone parent and as her youngest daughter had started full time school, she had decided the time was right for her to go back to work.  She had previously had a bad experience with an employer and was anxious about finding another job.

'Jacob' had formerly been employed as a miner, then in the construction industry.  He was at the end of his tether after being made redundant time after time.  One of the FEI advisors met him in the Jobcentre and told him about FEI.  He registered with FEI and discussed where he wanted his career to go; he explained that he had always wanted to work in care.  A CV was created and a mail shot sent to selected care homes and he immediately began to get phone calls from care homes saying they would keep his details on file. After job searching, it became apparent that it would benefit 'Jacob' to gain his food hygiene certificate which was funded at a cost of approximately £50.  He was invited to interview at a care home and was offered the job!  Sadly the employer was very slow in sending off his Criminal Records Bureau check and requesting references so 'Jacob' began to lose hope. 

'Jeanette' had been out of work for a considerable length of time running into several years.  She too wanted to work in care. Her CV was created  and she went away with a list of care homes that she would like to work in.  A big factor to take into account was the public transport network as, ideally, she wanted to stay locally.

In the meantime, one of the Community Employment Advisors for the Bolsover FEI supplied information about three openings at a local care home which she had heard of from a family member.  They were looking for good quality care staff and suggested any suitable clients phone up.  All three clients were contacted and rang the care home straight away.  Support was offered in relation to interview techniques and after a few days, all three had been offered jobs!

FEI were able to pay for CRB checks for two of the clients, one of them was reluctant to accept financial assitance, despite being eligible and paid £45 for the CRB out of their own funds.

The employer was very happy and expressed that they would appraoch FEI for their future recruitment needs.