Claire’s return to work

Claire had been out of work for some time, through both choice (raising her children) and for reasons out of her control (recovering from a spell of poor mental health).

Claire had been out of work for some time, through both choice (raising her children) and for reasons out of her control (recovering from a spell of poor mental health).

She had absolutely no self belief and felt she had nothing to offer an employer. Although confident with her friends, Claire was very shy and found mixing with new people quite challenging.

Before she joined the Journey 2 Employment Job Club

Before she joined the Journey 2 Employment Job Club, Claire had been out of work for many years. She felt like she had no real skills and nothing to offer. She had concentrated on raising her children and her own recovery journey, learning to overcome her anxiety and depression in social settings, but not yet able to apply this to more professional settings. Secretly, Claire harboured a desire to become a Learning Support Assistant for children with special needs but felt that she would never be able to achieve this because she lacked skills and had no qualifications, having left school at 14 to have her first baby.

One of the first activities Claire did was look at her hobbies and past times and interests, to identify any skills which would be of use in the workplace. This was a very moving exercise for Claire. She was moved to tears when she realised just how many skills she did.

Since then, Claire has found voluntary work at a lunch club for lonely older people, and is doing level 1 training to become a teaching assistant. Claire has learnt that although her mental health difficulties may never go away completely, there are tools she can use to mange them.

How the Journey to Employment Job made the difference

Supporting Claire to take a real look inwards, and understand everything she has to offer to an employer, was a vital step in her gaining the confidence she has to work towards her career goals. Claire had previously been on the Work Programme and found that the advisors there were not as helpful or supportive as those on the Journey 2 Employment course. She felt that we were really interested in her as a person, and in helping her to do what she wanted to do, whereas in the past she had experienced less supportive approaches, being told what she could or couldn’t do, and being discouraged from broadening her horizons because of her lack of qualifications.

It feels like nobody’s ever bothered to help me before, but you make me feel like I’m worth something and I do matter. Thank you.