A tearful 32-year-old woman sat on her sofa searching for hope that one day she could achieve more than just being a cleaner.
Joleine Taylor has learning difficulties and the catalogue of jobs such as waitressing and retail on her CV sends out a message to potential employees that she really doesn’t stick with anything for very long.
She says her condition makes it harder to find other work because employers simply don’t have the time to give her the extra support she needs.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m really grateful for the cleaning jobs I have right now,” she said.
“But, I want to do more with my life than just clean.
“It isn’t easy when you have learning difficulties. If you are honest you don’t get taken on, and if you don’t say anything it’s easy to get things wrong without the support you need. I just want a chance.”
A lot of people don’t recognise they have transferable skills but they may have been nursing a relative and could go into a caring role.Jackie Elton, of the Community Lincs programme Succeed Together
As a journalist, many people come to you for help and it’s the best feeling when you can make a difference. But, I have to admit I was struggling with this one. Who has time in a holiday resort to give extra support to a member of staff? What would readers on social media say about her when the article went online?
I found my inspiration under blue skies in what is still a relatively unknown beauty spot and place of learning in Skegness - the Coastal Eco Centre off Richmond Drive.
Greater Lincolnshire MOVE – ‘Moving On: Volunteering and Employability’ - is a network of 24 charities and training providers whose job is to help people like Joleine discover their full potential, had gathered for a team building Sustainability Day.
They had come from as far away as Grantham, Boston, Louth and Horncastle and were roasting marshmallows over an open fire when I arrived at the end of a busy day of workshops.
Jennie Eaton of Sleaford-based MOVE – explained the event was part of a three-year project made possible by the Big Lottery and European Social Fund.
There are currently 230 people in the project, which is proving successful. She said: “We work with people with multiple and complex barriers to get them employment, learning or participation.
“What we do is very individual and goes beyond what is available at Job Centres.
“Some people have lost work through illness, whether mental or physical, and transport can be an issue in rural areas.
“We focus on what they can do and what their transferable skills are, as well as building confidence, and have even had success in helping people start their own business.”
Jackie Elton, of the Community Lincs programme Succeed Together, said she had enjoyed a very useful networking day.
She said: “A lot of people don’t recognise they have transferable skills but they may have been nursing a relative and could go into a caring role. A lot of the partners deal with similar issues and it has been really useful sharing some good news stories.”
HOW TO GET MOVE-ing
Greater Lincolnshire MOVE – ‘Moving On: Volunteering and Employability’ – is completely free, and independent of Job Centre Plus.
Participation is not mandatory, and participants cannot be sanctioned if they decide not to take part.
Financial help is available for travel, childcare and respite care costs, making it even easier to take part. It’s not just about sending you on a course and then leaving you to it: you will have ongoing support from an advisor who will be there every step of the way as you identify what you would like to do, and how to do it.
Your advisor can make referrals to other partner organisations, so you can benefit from a wide range of learning, skills and work-related activities.
Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS) is helping to make Greater Lincolnshire MOVE available to people in parts of East Lindsey, Boston and South Holland.
l For more information visit www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk and click on the link to Health and Well-being and Project Work