Team North Somerset celebrates its achievements over the past two years
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 July 2016 | UPDATED: 12:19 29 July 2016
For some people it may be hard to imagine the difficulty in finding a job, but it is an issue faced by a huge number of people in North Somerset.
From anxiety to not believing you are good enough, the prospect of finding full time work can be daunting for many.
But Team North Somerset now has two years experience in getting people’s lives back on track, after the organisation was born back in 2014.
Team North Somerset is a partnership of several high-profile organisations in the district, including Weston College, North Somerset Council and the Department of Work and Pensions.
It also works with a number of businesses, which will give people the chance to find their feet through offering work experience or full-time work – or often both.
A celebration took place at Weston College last week, in what was a truly inspirational evening.
Not only were a number of people brave enough to reveal their struggles, there were also some heartfelt speeches from businesses who have benefited from employing people through the organisation.
These employees may not have had the chance before, or the confidence to apply for the jobs.
It must be said it is not easy for these people to speak up about their journey but some did just that and wanted to thank the organisation for their new lease of life.
Jason Russell, from Weston, said: “I was unemployed for 13 years as I had an anxiety disorder. I had low self-esteem and I thought I would have to re-train to get a job I wanted to do – but I didn’t.
“I had a chance to use life skills I already had and now I am a support worker for Alliance Support. I had six months probation and they now want me for longer. I am now going to do a level three diploma at the college.”
Confidence is a huge issue for someone who has been out of work for a long time, or is struggling to find their calling in life, and this was certainly the case for Stuart Groves, who lives in Worle.
He said: “I had no path and experienced months of self doubt but two or three weeks after speaking to Team North Somerset I did some work experience at Puxton Park.
“I then was offered a job and stayed there for seven months. I had so much help for the interview and they told me what the best answers to give were and so on.
“I was also helped financially by Team North Somerset to get through to the first pay day as I had to travel to work without having been paid yet. If I didn’t have the money to travel I would have been in debt when I had just started. I am now on an apprenticeship with Weston College.”
Not only do those in need of work need support finding employment, they also need someone to talk to.
It was clear to see the passion those working for the organisation have, and this included employer engagement co-ordinator for Team North Somerset, Lisa Smith, who helped Stuart and Jason – and not to mention many others – through tough times.
She told the Mercury: “I think it is great to have so many people here celebrating. People are thinking about what they can offer and we can show what sort of people are out there. I am really proud of them all and I just love my job.”
This passion may be one of the reasons businesses are now so keen to get involved in Team North Somerset.
Head of business enterprise at Weston College, Liz Redwood, said: “This is about bringing people together and realising it really is worth collaborating. You can only be inspired by what you have seen here.
“It really is about giving everyone a chance. If Team North Somerset cannot help, then they will certainly know someone who can.”
To find out more about Team North Somerset, call 01934 411573, or click here.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.