Sophie back in work after 8 years unemployed
"Without Nick's help I wouldn’t have got the job which I am enjoying immensely. I would recommend his help and support from Links to Work to anyone” – Sophie*, Dorset customer.
Why Sophie joined the Links to Work Programme
Sophie had previously been unemployed for nearly 8 years. After a year claiming JSA she came to us for help seeking sustainable employment.
Sophie was open to a variety of work opportunities but we quickly identified that low confidence combined with mental health conditions were holding her back.
How Links to Work helped
We hooked Sophie up with our in-house health adviser, Bernadette Jones, who started by providing one-to-one therapeutic support.
As Sophie's confidence grew she found the courage to start attending our group Health and Wellbeing workshops. The group workshops are designed to help our customers understand their barriers to employment and provide strategies for better managing them.
Sophie's confidence came on leaps and bounds and she played an instrumental role in group participation.
Of the group workshops Sophie said: "the group sessions with the health adviser were valuable as they gave me the opportunity to express my feelings about my situation and confidence, and work through my issues successfully.”
Sophie was suppported by Dorset personal consultant, Nick McKay, to devise and complete CVs and tailored covering letters.
Many of our customers feel that being on benefits will leave them better off. Nick and Sophie completed a 'better off in work' calculation and discovered that Sophie would be in a better financial situation if she was working.
Sophie wanted to work in the care sector. We used our close links to employers to get her an interview at a local care home. Nick managed to alleviate Sophie's nerves by conducting mock interviews and providing constructive feedback.
Landing the job
Sophie attended interview for the role of carer and was contacted very soon after with an offer for the position.
She's now been in the job for 2 months and we're very happy to report Sophie is really enjoying herself.
Sophie said: “When I started on the Links to Work programme, my confidence and self-esteem were at rock bottom, it took a few good weeks to get used to the programme and my advisor. Once I got to grips with it all I found the support of Nick gave me a boost in confidence, telling me I could instead of giving me any negativity."
In work support
Like all our customers Sophie continues to benefit from our support even after finding employment.
Nick is regularly in touch with Sophie over the phone and she's even come back to the office to say hello. The Dorset team was struck by how much Sophie has developed, she's really confident now and living life with a sense of purpose.
Keen to get a job you love? Signup for our free employment support programme and we'll work with you to make it happen.
*Name changed to protect customer's identity.