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Cheryl Hughes

Since 2014 Prevista has been delivering the Department for Work and Pensions Mentoring and Support for 50+ claimants’ programme. This provision has been specifically designed to support the needs of older workers; helping them update their skills and search for jobs in the modern labour market. Alongside our delivery partner TCHC, we have made a huge impact on the lives of participants, many of whom have not been in work for decades.

Cheryl, one such participant, had been unemployed since 1977. She had done some volunteering over the years but severely lacked confidence and motivation and hadn’t had an interview for a job for some years. She didn’t think that she could find employment with such little experience and at her age.

Having no success with finding work, her work coach at Jobcentre Plus recommended the Prevista 50+ programme, which is designed to help support older people who often face very specific challenges getting back into work. Cheryl found the support she received from TCHC and its advisers incredibly useful.

Her adviser realised that Cheryl needed to get some work experience. As she was interested in administration she was offered 2 days a week within TCHC’s Gateway team. Cheryl was given a mentor and was set an action plan to help her develop the skills she needed. A skills health check was carried out and it found that her IT and Microsoft Office skills were below the standard required for admin. Support was put in place to help her improve these.

Both Cheryl and her mentor soon realised that perhaps Admin was not the ideal job for her. Instead,  after an assessment, it was decided that care work or retail would be more suitable. Throughout her placement Cheryl was keen and eager to learn and develop; it was clear that she genuinely wanted to find work. She was given the opportunity to seek work while at TCHC and receive help with applications. Mock interviews were set up for her which were recorded and areas that needed improving were worked on with her adviser. After two weeks working at TCHC, Cheryl had lined up two interviews.

With the help she received Cheryl was successful at interview and offered work at a care home. To start her new role she needed to be DBS checked, the prospect of which she initially found daunting.  However, with help from TCHC and her work coach at Jobcentre Plus she put in her application and passed. Cheryl has now started working at the care home where she is enjoying helping and supporting others.

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