Before joining the GREAT Project, Poonam was a stay-at-home mum of three and had plenty of work experience in differing industries. However, Poonam had been unemployed since having her third child. With her youngest due to start school in September, she decided now was the time to do something for herself.
“I wanted to do something on my own – everyone knows me as mum or wife, but I wanted to do something for me.”
Poonam knew she wanted to find a role within social care, but felt she didn’t have enough confidence to start looking for jobs. She joined the GREAT Project after hearing about it at her children’s primary school. Poonam soon referred herself with the hopes she’d be able to access support with writing a CV, help with looking for jobs and help to prepare her for interviews.
Poonam soon met with Chantal, a GREAT Project team leader, who created a tailored support plan based on her needs. Poonam began attending sessions on interview techniques, managing return to work and confidence building, all delivered by in-house Employment Coordinators. She also had one-to-one Work Club sessions, where she accessed the support she wanted with writing her CV and cover letter.
Poonam found that not only was her confidence increasing, but the GREAT Project was able to support her with other barriers she faced. As the GREAT Project covers transport costs and can provide childcare, Poonam was able to access all the sessions Chantal recommended to her without the additional worry these issues could have caused. Poonam was able to attend the sessions feeling relaxed; having her expenses covered and her children cared for meant she could completely focus on the task at hand.
Poonam has seen the biggest increase in her confidence, and credits the group working as the reason for this. She feels that working in a team has given her the motivation to speak to others and she now has the confidence to put this into practice and form new friendships.
“I’ve learnt how to talk to strangers; I’ve even approached a lady on her own at the playground and now we go walking together.”
Whilst on the project, Poonam also forged strong friendships with other participants. They all now go for regular walks together after dropping their children at school. They regularly share stories on their time with the project and any advancements they’ve made with their job search.
Reflecting on Poonam’s time with the project, Chantal said:
“It has been great to see how much confidence Poonam now has. She is able to see employment as an achievable goal and with her new found confidence, it won’t be long before she is in work.”
Poonam has completed her time with the project and has taken away the skills she wanted to learn, as well as a new friendship circle.