How your support helps give people the confidence to return to work

For 32 years, Louise hadn’t worked and instead took great pride in caring for her family whilst her husband worked full-time. Sadly, when Louise’s husband suddenly passed away last year, she was devastated and unsure what direction to turn. Louise had lost confidence in herself and began to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Louise was referred to Newground Together by an advisor at the Job Centre who could see that she needed some more support. Newground soon got in touch with Louise and Senior Employment advisor Lorraine Feeney got to work straight away. Lorraine spent time listening to Louise and talking her through the different options available, which could help her rebuild her confidence and self-esteem. Louise was put on Newground’s ‘Moving Forward Together’ program. This service provides one-to-one support and employment advice.

Louise and Lorraine discussed issues Louise felt were holding her back through weekly telephone appointments. Through the relationship built up over these weekly appointments, Louise was put on to a food hygiene course. She soon passed levels 1 and 2 and her confidence steadily increased. Louise continued to take on more courses, soon completing an IT and counselling course.

Lorraine then worked with Louise to produce a CV that highlighted her new qualifications and all her strengths as an employee. With coronavirus restrictions beginning to ease, Louise wanted to take the next step on her employment journey by volunteering at a local charity shop to gain work experience.

Through being part of a team and feeling valued, Louise’s confidence continued to grow. The shop manager suggested that Louise should apply for a part-time paid role. Louise was excited at this prospect but terrified at the same time as she had never completed a job application or interview!

With the help of Newground, Louise completed the application and passed the first stage. The next challenge was the interview. Together with Lorraine, they did a mock interview and practised the questions that may come up and prepared answers.

Through the practise session and confidence-building exercises, Louise felt much more confident and prepared when attending the interview. Excitingly, she was successful and offered the position. Louise was over the moon with this result and soon realised precisely how skilled she is. She finally started to recognise all the skills learnt from being a full-time parent were extremely valuable and transferable.

Louise started the role very quickly and was soon recognised as a strong candidate for a management position; her hours were increased, and she was invited to apply for the assistant manager role. For the time being, Louise decided to remain a shop assistant, so she could continue to support her children and grandchild.

Lorraine said “Louise is a pleasure to work with. Although she has had huge emotional issues to deal with, she has dealt with her loss and changes as positively as one can in the circumstances; her inner strength and love for her family has kept her motivated and given her the drive to persist and overcome her challenges. Louise has continued to deal with the changes in her life with an optimistic attitude and as a result is on her way to having a great career. I am confident this is just the beginning of Louise’s new journey.”

Louise said “I found the service great, it really helped to build up my confidence and address my social anxiety. I was given advice and support, and was told what I needed to hear from someone impartial. It has helped give me a new lease of life and I have now found that I am very capable of doing things that I never thought were possible. Thanks so much Lorraine for your kind words and ongoing help in finding myself again.”

As always, 100% of all profits generated from our business are donated to our charity, Newground Together. As part of their ethos, Newground Together aims to make life better in communities. 

*Names have been changed.