Zac’s Story

Before joining the GREAT Project, Zac was unemployed and living at home with his parents. Zac’s ultimate goal when joining the project was to find employment but acknowledges he had multiple barriers to work, including lack of confidence, skills and opportunities.

“I was struggling and needed extra support to look for work. I didn’t have much confidence or experience, so I knew I needed help with training and qualifications.”

Zac was referred to the GREAT Project by a housing support officer, who informed him of the opportunities that would be available to him as a participant on the project. When Zac signed up, he quickly met with his Employment Support Officer, Yachna, who spoke with him about his barriers and what he wanted to overcome and achieve.

Whilst on the project, Zac accessed a range of workshops and courses that all supported him work towards his goal. Zac attended work club sessions which helped him write a CV and cover letter, and also supported him when looking for a job. These sessions worked in partnership with the interview skills workshop he attended, which allowed him to prepare for interviews as much as possible. These sessions inform participants about what to expect in different interview scenarios and help them prepare for typical questions they may be asked. He also attended a budgeting workshop, helping him to understand how to manage his money.

One of the courses Zac attended, which had a big impact on his life, was the three day confidence building course. Here, participants are encouraged to work together during activities to solve difficult problems. It aims to build their skills in communication, teamwork and confidence, as well as encourage positive thinking.

Zac also enjoyed the behind the scenes tours he attended with delivery partner, Business in the Community. He visited multiple large organisations in different sectors, giving him an insightful look into the different job roles he could consider working in. Through Business in the Community, Zac also undertook a work placement at a local wholesale manufacturer of desserts and cakes.

Zac said:

“The project has helped build my confidence. I’ve learnt that I’m not alone and there are people out there that will help and support me. The impact it’s made in my life is incredible and people should definitely join. It’s a great environment to be in. The team are all lovely people who support you with whatever they can”

Yachna, Zac’s Employment Support Officer whilst on the project, said:

“Watching Zac grow in confidence whilst he’s been on the project has been amazing. When I first met him, his self-esteem was so low, he couldn’t even look at me. His confidence has grown so much that he now feels confident meeting new people. I’m so proud of how far he’s come and wish him all the best for the future.”

Zac has now successfully completed his time on the project and has secured a part-time role at a restaurant local to him.

Anne’s Story

Before Anne joined the GREAT Project, she had been out of work for a while and had not long suffered a bereavement. Her work coach at her local Jobcentre thought the GREAT Project would be a good place for her to start.

Anne soon met with her Employment Support Officer (ESO), Diana, and discussed what she felt her barriers were. She outlined her barriers as lack of job skills and qualifications, and simply not knowing what job opportunities were out there. Anne was referred to the FAST employment programme that in-house Employment Coordinator, Kenton, and Diana were delivering. During the FAST employment programme, participants cover topics such as confidence building, interview skills, budgeting and how to manage returning to work.

Anne also attended Work Club sessions, where she was able to create a CV and cover letter, as well as learn how to effectively look for a job.

Whilst on the project, Anne also met with delivery parent, Business in the Community, and attended pre-placement training. During this training, she learnt how to prepare for placements and interviews, the importance of first impressions, interview skills and other aspects relevant to her placement. After the pre-placement training, Anne then went on to complete a work placement at a national supermarket.

After completing her time with the project, Anne moved into further training, studying computer software skills through an adult resource centre in her local community.

Speaking of her time on the project, Anne said:

“I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but the project was very useful in helping me gain confidence in myself. It gave me more belief in myself too. Everyone was very helpful and friendly, which made me feel at ease.”

Harpreet’s Story

Before joining the GREAT Project, Harpreet was a stay-at-home mum looking after her young son. Although Harpreet has a degree in fine art print making, she felt she lacked the confidence she needed to find work. Harpreet came into contact with the GREAT Project through her local children’s centre, and explained that she wanted help to build her confidence and general support to help her get back into the world and find a job.

“I didn’t know such services actually existed. I was so glad and happy that I actually took the step to find out what the GREAT Project was all about.”

Harpreet was soon introduced to her Employment Support Officer, Leah, and together, they devised a plan tailored to Harpreet’s needs. She soon began attending the various workshops on offer, including sessions on interview skills and returning to work – covering best practices, what to expect and making a good impression. Harpreet also worked with delivery partner, Business in the Community, and attended a behind the scenes tour at a multinational retail organisation based in Leicester.

Harpreet also attended a three-day confidence building course. Here, participants need to communicate and work together to overcome various tasks. This encourages them to speak freely and form bonds with one another. It’s also good to help them understand what qualities they hold, such as being a good leader or being able to think strategically. Harpreet also utilised the childcare provision the GREAT Project provides, making the sessions far more accessible for her, as childcare was one of her barriers.

Harpreet feels that joining the project benefitted her greatly; she learnt how to converse with others, gained confidence when it came to interviews and learnt what skills she already possessed.

Reflecting on the project, Harpreet said:

“If you’re considering joining a programme like this, then join the GREAT Project. Learning more about the skills I already possessed and talking to others in a similar situation helped me no end. Take the step to join, because there’s nothing to lose but plenty to gain.”

Leah, speaking of Harpreet’s time on the project, said:

“Harpreet is a perfect example of what can be achieved with the GREAT Project’s support. She started as a stay-at-home mum and has now secured a role at one of Leicester’s largest organisations. She knew what she wanted to achieve and worked hard to make it happen, and I couldn’t be prouder of her.”

Harpreet completed her time with the project and secured a paid role at the retail organisation she visited.