Andy first contacted Prospects in August 2015. The 52 year old father of four, was facing severe mental health problems, the loss of his home and was completely reliant on unemployment benefits.
However, with the help of the government Work Programme, run by Prospects, Andy has transformed his life and is now a successful high end potter.
“Prospects has given me my confidence back. They helped me access counselling which assisted me through a period of poor mental health and attempted suicide,” explains Andy, “and my key worker also helped me navigate the sale of my house, which provided me with the funds I needed to pay for premises and assets to set up my pottery business.”
“I attended group sessions to build my self-esteem, a business start-up course and counselling which were all arranged for me through Prospects.
Before I contacted Prospects I had been out of work since 2012 and was supporting myself and my family on benefits, now I have overcome the mental and financial barriers I faced and own my own Raku Pottery store.”
“I have also since been able to move from unemployment benefits to Working Tax Credits instead,” he adds.
Thanks to his improved confidence levels, Andy continues to make a success of his pottery business and hopes to start to sell other local artists’ work, which in turn will support his creative artistic endeavours.
Prospects has also supported another young woman to undertake her dream university course, and another who previously had to give up work to care for her elderly parents, through the National Careers Service, which Prospects runs in the South West, London and the Midlands.
Lois first tried the National Careers Service after being out of work because of a tough background. Alcohol addiction, poor mental health including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression left Lois with severe low confidence and self-esteem issues. “I was unemployed and in a bad place, so I turned to the National Careers Service for support.”
“When I went in to recovery I realised I wanted to help people who were in the same position as I had been,” explains Lois. “My adviser showed me that I had a future and that my life could change. She gave me some career options, and explained step-by-step how I could get there, encouraging me when my confidence was at its lowest.”
“I have since completed a counselling course and have been accepted to Worcester University to study Integrative Counselling Skills. My goal is to help women like myself and make a difference in their lives.”
Marie had been unemployed for a number of years, having left her previous job to care her aging parents. Once ready to return to work, she reached out to the National Careers Service for help writing a CV and finding employment.
“I spent my appointments talking about my career options and the free training opportunities available to me,” explains Marie. “We also discussed about ways to improve my job applications and interview ability and arranged for me to do an IT course to improve my technical skills.”
“Since contacting the National Careers Service my motivation and confidence has improved so much, I am now in a much more positive place. I am happy because I have a good CV, I can write job applications on my own, and now I have a new job!”
The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance for jobseekers and those in work aged 18 and older to help them manage their career and progress into learning, training and employment.
Qualified careers advisers provide advice and support tailored to each individual customer’s needs through digital technology, telephone and face to face meetings to help customers identify and overcome any barriers they face and give them the chance to unlock their true potential and find a fulfilling career which offers opportunities to progress.
For more information about the National Careers Service in your area please call 0800 100 900, or visit http://www.prospects.co.uk/WhatWeDo/EmploymentSkills/NationalCareersService.aspx