Carole 52 from Morpeth started working with Bridge Northumberland in Aug 2020. Carole has been caring for her husband and elderly mother but she felt she wanted something for herself and would like to go back into paid employment after a 20 year break. Lacking in confidence and suffering from anxiety Carole needed help to be able to achieve her goal.
Carole met with her Bridge Worker Sheena and they discussed ways of building up Carole’s confidence and looked at volunteering as a way to help and to gain a current reference before applying for jobs. Carole was keen to give volunteering a go but felt she had gaps in her IT skills from having a employment break.
Carole was assessed by BRIC our digital skills partner. Carole uses a computer regularly and has over the years used many software packages, but she felt she had forgotten things. This all impacted on her confidence. To help Carole brush up her IT skills Carole attended the IT Essential course at BRIC.
Carole had been looking out for volunteer opportunities herself but nothing had come up, with COVID and lockdowns timing was proving difficult. Carole also needed to be careful as a carer to keep her family safe, so volunteering was put on hold until the situation changed.
With lockdowns in place Carole looked to training opportunities and Sheena worked with her to look at possible free online accredited courses. One event came up with one of our partners Northumberland CVA ‘Thrive Training’ which Carole took part in via zoom online. The event helped Carole start to build her confidence and self-esteem.
Carole still didn’t feel ready for work so Sheena suggested a supported a volunteering placement in relevant environment to help her have confidence in her own skills and abilities. Working our partner Northumberland CVA Carole started to undertake various supported volunteering roles, such as the Full Circle Food Allotments week and the Queen Elizabeth Park Litter pick.
Working with Northumberland CVA Carole has being taking part in the 6 week SkillsUNeed sessions. Gaining support in how to write the perfect CV, carry out effective job searches, and complete engaging application forms. Also how to be successful at interview, prepare for work, and manage on a budget. Carole is enjoying the sessions and in gaining valuable experience in preparing her CV ready for an admin role.
‘Bridge Northumberland is a supportive and overall positive experience. Before joining the program, I found life difficult and felt hopeless about finding work because of the pandemic, however with support from my Bridge Worker and Supported Volunteering staff, I was able to volunteer and gain more confidence. I feel I now see a light at the end of the tunnel when thinking of coming back to work and my confidence has grown’.
Lisa at Northumberland CVA Supported Volunteering has found the perfect volunteer opportunity for Carole. The Amble Womens Workshop needed support with admin tasks, Carole jumped at the chance and is enjoying the role. Carole’s confidence and self esteem are improved and she can now look to returning to work in the future.