"Volunteering has given me the confidence and motivation to go back to work, I feel like I have been given a second chance."
Gary Taylor, Stephen Holloway and Anthony Milburn, all of whom had been long-term unemployed, found work with Beyond Housing after enrolling on its training and employability support programmes. The company encourages all its customers and members of the community to use the volunteering and training opportunities it provides to help them overcome barriers to work and gain a better chance of securing a job.
The Streetscene team is responsible for grounds maintenance and open space cleansing across Beyond Housing’s estates.
Gary was referred by East Cleveland Training & Employment Hub in Skinningrove for a garden volunteer role at Beyond Housing’s Dormanstown community hub, Westfield Farm.
It quickly became evident that Gary was keen to progress and learn new skills so he took on an additional role as a general assistant, supporting the Westfield Farm coordinator with the daily running of the facility.
Through his voluntary role, Gary was given the opportunity to complete Beyond Housing’s employability training programme, which on completion would guarantee an interview for a streetscene operative role within the organisation’s Estates team.
Also completing the Streetscene employability training programme was Stephen, a Beyond Housing tenant who was long-term unemployed, had no qualifications, lacked confidence in his abilities and had low aspirations. Stephen also volunteered with the gardening team at Westfield Farm, and with support from Volunteer Coordinator Eileen Greaves, his skills and confidence had grown enough to encourage him into work.
In addition, one of the candidates on Beyond Housing’s New Directions programme secured a role after taking the same training course. The New Directions programme offers training, employability support and advice to young people aged 15-29.
Anthony has four children and was keen to develop a career to enable him to provide a stable environment for his children to grow up in. He had previous experience in various manual roles, but his CV didn’t portray his strengths. His New Directions advisor supported him to obtain necessary right to work documents, produce a new CV and access additional training. Anthony completed Beyond Housing’s employability training programme where he was supported with his application and prepared for an interview which led to him securing a role.
Emma Grimes, Employability Manager at Beyond Housing, said: “At Beyond Housing, we’re committed to contributing positively in every way we can to our communities and the lives of those who live there.
“Volunteering is a fantastic way to gain experience and confidence, especially when backed up with training.
“It is always a particular pleasure when we are able to welcome those who complete our training programmes to become part of the Beyond Housing family.”
Of his experience, Stephen said: “I gained so many valuable skills by being part of a volunteer programme such as teamwork, working independently, working in a structured environment as well as feeling valued.
“Volunteering has given me the confidence and motivation to go back to work, I feel like I have been given a second chance.”