Eloisa’s story

Posted on November 23, 2021

My name is Eloisa and I’m a 19 year old volunteer at ProjectScotland. My job coach from DWP referred me to ProjectScotland after I had been unemployed for 18 months and totally detached from my community in Blairgowrie.  Me, my sister and my Dad moved to Blairgowrie from Belgium and I was finding it very difficult to settle, feeling isolated without any friends.  My education had also suffered due to the move. By the time I met with my Volunteer Engagement Manager (VEM) I was keen for some guidance to change my situation.  My VEM helped me to find direction.

I have my own horse and a real passion for horses so my VEM supported me with volunteering with horses and children with disabilities.  This was literally my dream volunteering role, doing what I love right in the heart of my community which meant that I could meet other young people. 

I was keen to make up for lost time with my education and to go to college so my VEM supported me with applying for courses at colleges in Perth and Dundee. I was interviewed by Dundee college who offered me a place on a more advanced course than the one I applied for. The very same week, I was offered a Kick Start job that the Job Centre had put me forward for. Going from no options to three major ones felt very overwhelming so I contacted my VEM to talk through everything.  Weighing it all up, I felt that taking the Kick Start job would be the best option for me and that I can look at going to college in Perth, which is closer to home, next year. This way I can fit in some volunteering with my new job, a six month contract in retail.  My VEM has also connected me with a Mentor so that I have continued support.  

Thanks to volunteering have literally gone from feeling like I had no life to feeling like I have a bright future with lots of choice.