Aimee’s Story

Aimee wanted help to overcome the barriers to work she faced, as she was determined to return to work.

Aimee found out about the GREAT Project at her local job centre after speaking to a GREAT staff member. The member of the team told Aimee about what the project has to offer and how it could help her.

Speaking to her Emplyoment Support Officer (ESO), Aimee explained that she was anxious when she initially joined the project, but knew she wanted to get back to work. The support she received to overcome her barriers included supporting her with her anxiety, lack of skills, low mood and financial problems.

“I didn’t realise I needed help with my mental health until I started and I picked up on comments.”

Yachna drew up an action plan for Aimee and they spoke about the resources available to her, she was very enthusiastic to access all the available support. Aimee was on income support at the time of joining the project, but as her son was due to turn five, this support would change.

Aimee attended a number of Work Club sessions where she created an up to date CV, practiced writing cover letters, job searching and using online job sites.

“I felt motivated to look for work myself, after my CV was completed I felt like the old me again.”

She also attended a behind the scenes tour at Next, organised by delivery partner, Business in the Community. Aimee found this extremely useful as it gave her an insight into what it would be like to work there.

Alongside this, Aimee attended all in-house workshops available to her. These sessions cover budgeting, managing your return to work, interview skills and claiming your confidence; giving participants a comprehensive toolkit to finding employment.

Finally, Aimee participated in a three day confidence building course offered by the GREAT Project. Delivered in small groups, participants are encouraged to work together to solve problems and complete tasks. Throughout the three days, participants talk and have fun whilst working towards the goal of completing ‘the challenge’. The challenge requires participants to put the skills they’ve learnt over the past few days together, and work as a team to beat the clock. Aimee received glowing feedback from the course facilitator, commenting on her natural leadership skills, and specifically on her ability to help others when they were struggling.

Aimee said about her time on the GREAT Project:

“I never felt judged or lower than anyone. I needed that. Since not working and having a child, I became depressed, lonely and scared of the big wide world. I now feel happier, independent, more confident, less anxious, I sleep better and I manage my finances without crying every day.”

Aimee put all that she had learnt whilst on the GREAT Project into practice and confidently applied and attended interviews. She was soon offered a position at an architectural ironmonger company, as an Office assistant.

Yachna, Aimee’s ESO commented:

“Aimee was so enthusiastic from the get go and that made it easier to work with her and better support her. She is such a strong and inspirational woman and I feel very privileged to have been her ESO. I was so pleased for her when she told me about her new job and the fact that they had been flexible to fit around her child care needs. I witnessed Aimee come out of her shell, grow in confidence and start to believe in herself again and I hope this continues for her.”