During lockdown, dance music fan Sam Cullum from Scarborough found a new online community of like-minded friends. Facing money worries since being made redundant in early 2020, she now hopes the security of her new job – found with the help of the WHP JETS scheme – will enable her to hit the dance floor with her new worldwide network of friends in the future.
Sam, 50, had a successful past career in HR administration and while unemployed during the pandemic applied for numerous jobs. She found the lack of response and progress completely demoralising; a ‘huge blow’. She was therefore delighted, but understandably nervous, to be offered an interview for an administration role at a local assessment centre.
“I was referred to WHP JETS by Jobcentre Plus and my APM employment coach Helen was lovely,” explains Sam. “Helen was on the phone to me constantly, reassuring me and giving me confidence in my abilities. She was a key factor I’m sure in me getting my new position.”
WHP JETS is a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP) and is delivered locally by APM, part of Ingeus UK, on behalf of Reed in Partnership. It is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and receives support from the European Social Fund.
Sam continues: “Being unemployed during the pandemic was tough. I worried about not having a normal working life again and not having enough money to make ends meet. The one up-side was that many of my favourite DJs live streamed events and I joined chat groups of fans.
“Getting a job means I now have a reason to get up in the morning and I’m starting to get back on my feet financially. Having some money in the bank again will be a nice feeling and hopefully by the time we can freely travel again my new job isn’t the only new gig I’ll be heading to!”