Single mum Helen felt a weight lifted off her shoulders after securing a job that suited both her own and her children’s needs – just three weeks after signing up to the WHP JETS programme.
Struggling to find a role that fitted with school hours as well as her own career ambitions, left 28-year-old Helen, from Lancashire, feeling disheartened and ready to sacrifice her own needs for the sake of having financial security.
“I’d applied for so many different jobs,” says Helen. “I was at the point where I was willing to take any job that was offered to me with the right kind of hours, just so I was able to provide for my children. Even if it was a job that I hated.”
Helen, who has a young son and daughter, was soon referred by her local Jobcentre Plus to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in North West England by Ingeus. It is commissioned and financed by the Department for Work and Pensions and deemed to be a European Social Fund match funded programme.
Helen's employment coach Joanna Smith soon helped her to realise that she would be able to find a job she would enjoy too. Having a wide range of experience in different sectors, Helen was keen to find a job as a cleaner – something she had done previously and enjoyed.
“Joanna’s support and encouragement was amazing,” explains Helen. “She really encouraged me to keep going and went out of her way to make sure I got the kind of job I was looking for.”
As well as regular phone calls, Joanna helped Helen to polish her CV and make it stand out to potential employers, with success as Helen recalls three companies complimenting her on it.
Eventually securing a cleaning position with local offices, Helen is able to take her daughter to and from school and be there for both children outside of school hours too. Approaching the end of her probation period in her job, Helen is hopeful that she will be asked to stay longer.
She says, “I’m good at what I do, I really enjoy it and it suits my home-life. I really was so ready to accept any job I could get – I can’t thank Joanna enough for her constant encouragement and reassurance.”