Volunteering, training & support – the whole package!

Posted on June 1, 2018

In Dundee, our Employability Manager Lisa has created a brand new care programme in partnership with the Wise Group, Enable, Dundee City Council and One Parent Families Scotland. The programme aims to help fourteen people into jobs in the care sector. The  programme not only provides people with practical volunteer experience through placements, it provides a range of training from CV writing to team building to help ensure people are prepared when they attend job interviews at the end of the programme. Because, yes that’s right, the programme also guarantees participants job interviews at the end!

AND – that’s not it! The programme also helps to arrange childcare, support in claiming benefits, covers travel expenses and provides food packages (through Fareshare) throughout the programme. Ensuring that everyone – single parents, people with mental health issues or criminal records- are as supported as they can be during the ten weeks.

We caught up with some of the volunteers and asked them why they decided to take part in the programme and a range of reasons were sighted. For example, Debbie advised she joined ‘to help with my CV and build my own confidence’ – she’d had a job in care but parenthood meant she didn’t have recent experience and had struggled to get a job. Kim, another participant advised ‘I helped my mum look after my brother who had schizophrenia so I thought going into care would be good for me.’ It’s not just people with a background in care taking part, some people saw it as a completely new career path or something different to get involved with.

The first week of the course sees volunteer’s complete three training courses in conflict management, first aid and food hygiene. Jeanette advised: “the courses are really interesting, especially conflict management. You learn about yourself too and it will be really handy in the future.”

Only three weeks into the course and volunteers already see the difference in themselves and each other, Jimmy said: “At the beginning I was nervous and not sure what to do, now I’m more confident in myself and in speaking to service users.” Chanice, another volunteer, advised: “I look forward to getting out of the house and doing something, my anxiety has already started to go down.”

Looking ahead to the future, the volunteers are hoping to get a job in the care sector and already are feeling positive about the interviews at the end of the programme. Jeanette advised: “Before this course, I wouldn’t know what to do in an interview for care roles. Now I know what to expect.”

In case you hadn’t guessed my now, the volunteers taking part are enjoying the course! If in doubt, Billy’s words of advice for anyone who is considering it advises: “I highly recommend it – take every opportunity you get!”

This project has been developed with a range of partners, and volunteer placements have been provided by Brae Riding for the Disabled and Mid-lin Day Care Care. All of the organisations involved in this programme hope the course will provide a holistic approach to getting into the
care sector, with training, development of CV and interview skills, the option of a mentor, placement experience and guaranteed interviews – we’re keeping our fingers crossed all fourteen volunteers will go into employment at the end of the ten week programme.

Sound like an ideal programme for you? If you’re interested in finding our more, contact Lisa.Laidlaw@projectscotland.co.uk or apply online and Lisa will get in touch when the programme runs again.