LIVE - The magazine for Optivo residents Winter 2017 - Page 14

MIDLANDS news Our Employment Officer Allison Hughes has been busy in the West Midlands, helping lots of residents to find work and gain new skills. Michael McGowran, Kings Norton, Birmingham “It can be really daunting looking for work and I have to say I was struggling because I didn’t really know where to start and what kind of training employers were looking for. But Allison and the team have had my back through the whole process. They put my mind at ease immediately, telling me not to worry as there was plenty out there for me. After chatting through my experience and qualifications in the care sector with Allison, she began sending through lots of job and training opportunities. She helped me into my new role as a care worker, which I love because I already have plenty of experience but I’m also learning lots of new things through training. I’ve had the most incredible support. It’s really nice to have someone who’s got your back.” Zoe Collard, Birmingham Lesley Deakin, Coleshill, North Warwickshire “I was unhappy in my admin job; I didn’t like the hours or the pay. It’s stressful when you’re stuck in a job that you hate. I was desperate to find something else. “For the last ten years I’ve been raising my four children singlehandedly and using benefits to sustain us. But when cuts came into force recently, I really began to struggle financially. I had very little money to feed the kids – especially my two sons who just eat and eat! I had been looking for jobs but things have changed so much in the time since I was last in employment doing bar work. I hadn’t updated my CV or done an interview in a long time. Allison found me lots of different jobs. She helped me to realise I had many more skills and strengths than I realised. In the end I found an apprenticeship as an NHS Medical Receptionist. I kept telling myself that I had it in me to get the job and I did!” 14 Allison worked her socks off to find me the right job. She sent me loads of great roles that matched what I wanted. Her emails were always really positive and encouraging. She also offered to help me prep for interviews. After just under three months (which is no time at all for a job search) she found a finance admin role at a care home that was a three minute walk from my house. I’ve now started and I absolutely love it. It’s made such a change to my life. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve thanked Allison for her help - I really do owe her a big hug!” If you’re looking for employment support contact employment@optivo.org.uk or phone 0800 121 60 60