Anna utilised training and keyworker support to progress towards a change of career that has landed her new job roles.
The Work Live Leicestershire (WiLL) project can call upon a learning partner, the WEA Leicester and Leicestershire, who deliver bespoke training courses.
Anna, who is from Poland but now lives in Hugglescote, Coalville, found herself unemployed, with the responsibilities of caring for an autistic son.
She was able to access job search and volunteering opportunities, through one-to-one mentoring from Paula, a keyworker at our partner, B-Inspired.
Anna said: “I am now a volunteer at Home-Start, which has given me a real sense of belonging. I love working with others and helping them.
“I am from Poland and it has been a real struggle for me to settle in the UK. Finding specialist support, with my autistic son, took some getting used to.
“I joined the Work Live Leicestershire (WiLL) project in February (2022) and became a part of the BBO WiLL programme. My keyworker Paula, at B-Inspired, has been very supportive.
“I needed to find a job role that fitted around my son's schooling. Through the WiLL project, I started both of my WEA training courses in March.
“I took a Confidence and Assertiveness course, for four weeks, with Rehana (WEA tutor) and I completed Job Search Workshops, with Harsha (also a WEA tutor) over five weeks.
“Before I joined BBO WiLL, I was working as a forklift truck driver and I experienced a lot of prejudice and sexism. I believe that my employer took advantage of my willingness.
“They gave me more responsibilities than were in my job description. When I asked for a pay rise, they were reluctant to do, so I left, not knowing what would happen next.
“I have really enjoyed being part of the WEA family. I feel like the courses helped me regain the confidence that I needed, to get back on my feet.
“I liked how both my courses pushed me out of my comfort zone. I had to give five-minute presentations in both of the last sessions, which helped me to prepare for interviews.
“It gave me the confidence to be able to talk for so long and deliver a good talk. I learnt from my Confidence and Assertiveness course that I could do and be anything I put my mind to.
“It was very helpful for me to build up my confidence and I got lots of helpful tips from it, which I’m still using. I realised how much I enjoyed breaking glass ceilings and shattering stereotypes. I knew what I wanted and how I could get there.
“During the Job Search Workshops, I enjoyed listening to the other interviews. I am so glad of the support from the group and the feedback from the participants helped me.
“Both of my tutors were very supportive of my needs. When my son was not at school, he would be in the background and they would engage with him and make him feel comfortable.
“My tutors have made me feel like it's OK to be different. I liked the way the courses were interactive and enjoyed watching videos on accepting yourself the way you are.
“I hope to build a better life in the UK for me and my son and I plan to continue helping other struggling parents at Home-Start, as a volunteer.
“I really did not know what to expect, but I’m pleased to share that I have just secured a role in a local school for 10 hours, which works perfectly for me, while my son is at school.
“I have also started a GCSE course to do Maths and English. Being a participant on the project has helped me in so many ways. Thank you to everyone who has supported me.”
Are you currently unemployed? You could become our next success story! For our latest opportunities and to learn more about the WiLL project, please contact us.