Since being forced to leave her job for personal reasons in 2010 and then becoming homeless, ‘Jenny’* struggled for years to get back into work. Jenny now works for Curo helping people to get a new home, thanks in part to the opportunities provided by Curo’s Accredited Work Placement Programme.
I was applying for job after job, not getting a look-in. With most employers I would hear nothing back. About five in a 100 did contact me to say ‘sorry, you’re not right for this position… you don’t have enough experience’.
I started suffering from depression. It felt like I had no life: I couldn’t afford to go out with friends or even buy everyday essentials. I started to take up work experience in retail as that’s where there seemed to be the most positions available. Two 12-week placements in retail led to nothing permanent.
I thought about trying something else like administration or reception work and took on a new work placement which I really enjoyed. That led me to focus on administrative jobs, but I still came up against the same problem: not enough experience.
In 2013 my partner and I found ourselves homeless. We eventually found a place to live two months later, but I was worse for wear and felt so low that I attempted suicide. Life was hard.
I saw two options. Carry on feeling down, or pick myself back up and try again. I’m 24 years old and I know that one day I will get somewhere in life.
So I tried again. I’d seen a work placement position with Curo and insisted on applying for it. This work placement was different – and if I hadn’t gone for it, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Starting at Curo I had no confidence; I didn’t think I was good at anything. The team I worked with made me feel welcome and were so supportive. People like Hayley Stockham and Lisa Wroe at Curo always pointed out what I’m good at and what I can do. I’m so grateful for the opportunity given and the outcome of getting a full time administration position at Curo.
*Not her real name.