Carers Support Centre is a local charity dedicated to improving the quality of life of carers by providing practical and emotional support. This includes a confidential telephone support line, carers assessments, one-to-one support, carers’ groups and telephone counselling.
Through the West of England Works project Carers Support Centre is supporting carers aged to feel more confident and better prepared to access training and employment that fits round their caring responsibilities.
Carers receive one-to-one tailored support to help identify their needs and create a supportive action plan that will help them reach their goals. This is delivered across six sessions which can be accessed online, face to face or over the phone:
- Creating or updating your CV
- Job application support
- Signposting to local training courses
- Support to find flexible job vacancies
- Interview preparation
- Signposting to IT support
- Disclosing your caring role to an employer
- Carer and former carers aged 16+
- Currently unemployed or economically inactive
- Living in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath or North Somerset
- Evidence of legal right to work in the United Kingdom
How we helped Mandy
When Mandy first registered with the project she was feeling overwhelmed with the increasing demands of her caring role as well as the pressure to find employment. After taking some time out to focus on her wellbeing, Mandy agreed an action plan with her Carers Support Officer to help her reach her goal of returning to work.
Mandy cares for her husband and due to his health needs, she is only able to leave him on his own for short periods of time. Therefore Mandy’s goal was to become self employed as a Book Keeper as this would offer her flexibility to work around her husband’s needs. Whilst Mandy had a broad range of experience from previous jobs, this was a new area of work so her support plan was focused on re-training and support to become self-employed.
With the support of her Carers Support Officer, Mandy enrolled on a fully funded Accounting Pathway course with Finance and Management Business School. The course was delivered online which allowed Mandy to be on hand to care for her husband if needed, and the coursework alongside this was flexible to be completed as and when she was able to, within permitted deadlines. To date Mandy has achieved a Certificate in Maths, a Highfield Award in Accounting, an AAT Access Award in Bookkeeping and is well on her way to achieving her goal.
Mandy has also benefitted from advice and guidance around self-employment as well as being signposted to other relevant services, and is feeling much more confident to pursue this when the time is right.
Here is some of Mandy’s feedback from her experience on the West of England Works project:
“The encouragement to get back into education has given me confidence and during the course I am learning many new skills, not just the course subject, but having to learn how to use new applications on my laptop in order to study from home.
I feel very positive about the future. I don’t feel as worried about my age being an obstacle as I know my knowledge and experience is a valuable asset.”