The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small local projects.  Building Better Opportunities is a National Lottery and ESF funded project designed to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion throughout Worcestershire, this project is proud to tell you the story of Lisa Stanley.

Lisa joined the Building Better Opportunities project after a referral from The JOY Project, a women’s only project based in Worcester that provides support to enable women to gain a variety of skills, enhance their confidence and empower them to make informed decisions.

The JOY Project is one of many organisations that will make regular referrals to a job coach when they feel that their client is ready to look for employment.

During our first meeting with Lisa, she talked about the work that she had done with the JOY project on the steering committee and previously with the ASHA project in Worcester. Lisa has a tremendous amount of qualifications, these include teaching adults in further education, drug and alcohol awareness, first aid, health & safety, safeguarding and mentoring skills. Lisa had previously been working as a tutor supporting vulnerable women to improve their skills and confidence.

I have supported Lisa with amending her CV, producing a covering letter, identifying possible further education courses, looking at voluntary work, improving Lisa’s interview techniques and helping to search for and apply for relevant  employment opportunities.

We needed to identify employment for Lisa that would ideally put all of her skills and experiences to good use, during job searches it unfortunately did not identify many suitable roles that would allow this.

During this time Lisa continued to do some voluntary work with a small local charity ‘West Worcester Live at Home Scheme’. This charity supports elderly people to attend lunch clubs, trips and generally allows the clients to have some time out of their week to socialise with other local residents.

Worcester Community Trust has recently been successful in gaining some National Lottery funding to set up a new project for people living in Worcester who are socially isolated and who may require support to access learning, increase their social networks, improve their health and feel less vulnerable. After seeing the details of the project and the jobs that were being advertised I thought this would be ideal for Lisa.

I supported Lisa with the application form and we then completed an interview skills session so that Lisa was fully prepared for the type of questions that might be asked, this also helped Lisa feel more confident and relaxed when attending the interview.

I am pleased to say that Lisa has started employment as a project worker on The Community Connector’s project and will be putting all of those fantastic qualification’s and previous experience to good use.

Mark Steadman
Job Coach
Worcester Community Trust