Finding her true mission in life
5 Apr 2021
Gabriela Benewiat has always described herself as a person with great empathy for others. Now she believes she has found her true calling in her new role as a support worker in social care.
Aged 28, Gabriela from Streatham in London had previously worked in the sales and marketing sectors, but was made redundant following lockdown and the subsequent economic downturn.
After a referral from Streatham Jobcentre Plus in August, Gabriela joined the JETS programme
, which is delivered across London by Ingeus. Specialist employability coaches provide tailored support and online training to participants in receipt of Universal Credit to help them find new work.
The programme’s full name is Central London Works, Work and Health Programme Job Entry Targeted Support (CLW WHP JETS)
and is managed by Central London Forward to help residents in Central London who have been affected by the pandemic.
“I am now a support worker in a home that provides semi-independent placements for young adults who are in the care system, aged over 16,” explained Gabriela. “My role is to provide support and encouragement to help the young residents transition towards an independent and stable lifestyle.
“I have used the pandemic and my redundancy as a time to re-evaluate my life. I have always cared about the wellbeing of people; I have empathy and want to help where I can. Now I have that opportunity.”
Gabriela had previously applied for advertised vacancies but had not been invited for interviews. She was helped in her search for work by Ingeus employment coach, Alex Wilson-Campbell, who suggested that Gabriela should network with previous contacts. They might be in a position to offer employment once they knew that she was seeking work.
“I had not thought of making these proactive approaches and trying to create opportunities for myself, but it worked,” said Gabriela. “I knew the owner of the home that provides placements for the Local Authorities. I made the call and I was invited for an interview. It went well and I was offered a job as a support worker.”
As part of her commitment to her new career, Gabriela is looking forward to undertaking training that will provide qualifications in approved safeguarding practices and childcare.
“JETS helped me to have confidence again and to try and find work opportunities that would really appeal,” commented Gabriela. “I feel that my new role is my true mission in life.”