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Progress2work: April Update

Progress2work is an adult employability project part-funded by the European Social Fund. The programme seeks to support those further from the labour market using new and tried and tested methods.  

The progress2work team have set up a great donation initiative at the Bradford Opportunity Centres to aid Homeless not Hopeless, an organisation providing practical support to homeless people and those in need in the Bradford area. We have been collecting donations of food and other essentials, and donating every Wednesday night. We’d like to thank the Opportunity Centre staff members who have already donated! Any donations can be dropped off at reception at our centre. Take a look at the flyer at the end of the article for more information! Food donation drives coming soon to Dewsbury and Leeds too, watch this space!

For April’s update, we are delighted to share a good news story about one of our clients, Edward.

Edward signed up to progress2work to improve his chances of getting into work after being out of work for around 6 years. Edward didn’t know what help was available , and needed some employability experience to help him gain employment. He has experienced low confidence and some anxiety in new situations, so his Employment Key Worker, Chris, referred him to our Therapeutic Worker, Lisa, who has been working with him in therapy sessions. Lisa has given Edward different pieces of ‘homework’ over their sessions so far. Including activities to help him identify his mental health barriers; work on mindfulness techniques; and to try out meditation techniques to ease anxiety and improve sleep. Edward has been committed and engaged with the therapy sessions, and his progress2work team members are delighted with the brilliant progress he has made with his confidence, motivation, and mood.
Lisa is enjoying working with Edward to support his mental health to help him get into work, particularly as Edward has really got stuck in and has been open to trying new techniques and methods to progress. She has commented: “Edward was insightful and committed a truly superb individual and a pleasure to work with”.
To help Edward gain experience, Chris referred him to Alex, one of our Volunteer Training Coordinators. Chris, Lisa and Alex agreed that Edward would benefit from the social and skill-building benefits of volunteering, and the option was suggested to Edward, who was very interested in the idea. Alex met with Edward to explain what volunteering would entail, and what he could gain. After identifying the right kind of opportunities for Edward, Alex helped him apply for a placement working with SEN children to teach them ICT at the Geek Room in Leeds. He completed an interview for the placement, and used some great techniques Lisa showed him to ease anxiety before the day. After sending in some paperwork, and confirming availability, Edward has been invited for a trial session at Geek Room to start in May!
This is a great result for Edward, and it shows how much progress he has made since starting the programme in February. A month ago, he was apprehensive about volunteering and was nervous in new situations; so to have been offered a trial placement is a great testament to Edward’s work and development; as well as the support provided by the progress2work team. With a few more months left on the programme, we’re looking forward to seeing more of Edward’s progress into work!

If you want to find out how your journey on progress2work might look, use the contact details below to have a chat with us and learn more!

In the run up to National Volunteering Week (31st May – 4th June), we’re holding a schedule of activities, events, and content to recruit volunteers to the project, increase awareness of progress2work, and pilot new delivery sessions! We’re planning to hold Walk and Talk events in Bradford and Leeds in the next few weeks, and Tea and Talk guest speaker sessions for our clients. We will be releasing a schedule of events soon so keep your eyes peeled for more information and opportunities to get involved!

If you’d like to know more about volunteering with progress2work, please contact hadji.singh@theopportunitycentre.com or call 07547415828

Click here to go to our project page to find out more and contact us.

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