This week (Tuesday 13 December) five customers from Prospects visited their local day centre for the elderly in Wells, The Lawrence Centre, to spread a bit of Christmas cheer. The customers, who are all currently on the Work Programme, are gaining new workplace skills after a period of long term unemployment.
Good employability and soft skills are vital, but gaining these in real life situations can be challenging. This event, was organised by Prospects customers over five weeks, has helped build teamwork, organisation and communication skills as well as improve confidence and self esteem. More importantly it has enabled customers to play a part in their local community benefiting those attending the Lawrence Centre.
Maree, an adviser with Prospects was previously a customer and understands how important it is to be involved in projects with a purpose. She comments: “The customers involved in organising the Christmas party have enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in teamwork and gain skills as well as showcasing some of their more creative skills. It has taken five weeks to organise and in that time I’ve seen the customers’ confidence grow.”
Keith, who works with Maree and Prospects colleague, Nigel, to support customers, comments: “Seeing the delight on the faces of the people using the Lawrence Centre when we arrived in our Christmas jumpers was wonderful. We all really enjoyed the singing and playing games together. People who are unemployed are usually portrayed as takers in society, and not as individuals who want to contribute to their local communities, so it was great to get involved and have a chance to give something back this Christmas.”
Claire from the Lawrence Centre was pleased to host the event for her members. She notes: “They enjoyed playing pass the parcel as it brought back childhood memories and we particularly liked the Christmas jumpers, hats and antlers everyone was all wearing. The Prospects customers put so much thought and effort into the lovely entertainment we enjoyed before our Christmas lunch. Thank you very much for our presents.’
Dawn, one of the organisers and Prospects customer comments: “I have really enjoyed this event, particularly seeing the smiles on the members faces when they were singing Christmas songs.”
Dawn’s views were reiterated by Paul, a fellow customer who says: “It was epic and I enjoyed all the smiles.”
All pictures were taken by Prospects customer, Bradford, who preferred to stay behind the camera.