Springtime is fast approaching and Leigh from Dalton-in-Furness is buzzing with enthusiasm for her new role as an activities co-ordinator at a local care home for elderly residents.
 
Thirty-year-old Leigh was supported back into employment by Ingeus’ Work and Health Programme, known locally as Work and Health North West, which helps those who have been unemployed for a long time, as well as people with health conditions, into work.
 
She had been made redundant in May 2020 as a result of the pandemic and was referred to the employability programme by the team at Barrow-in-Furness Jobcentre Plus.
 
“In the past I have worked in office administration,” commented Leigh. “I knew that I was looking for a real change, but I didn’t know what.”
 
Ingeus employment coach Tiffany Holden helped Leigh to revise her CV and began searching for vacancies that would provide Leigh with new challenges and utilise her skills from other sectors and through her volunteering work.
 
“I knew that Leigh had previously helped as a volunteer for a community group and was looking for a new direction,” explained Tiffany. “I liaised with our team and discovered that a local care provider was looking for someone to work with their residents as an activities co-ordinator. We spoke to the HR Manager and arranged an interview.”
 
Work and Health North West, delivered by employment specialist Ingeus, is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and receives support from the European Social Fund.
 
“The employment support team was great,” said Leigh. “I would never have thought of applying for my job, but Tiffany helped me realise that I had the right attitude and skills for the role.
 
“I started my new work in December which meant it was strictly governed by lockdown restrictions. Chatting to residents and keeping them entertained, even if I am only reading to them, is very important as they’ve been so limited in seeing family members.
 
“As restrictions are eased, I am looking forward to arranging other activities for residents to enjoy. It will be great to invite entertainers into the care home and arrange excursions.”