Created on 15 November 2021

Introducing Catherine

Catherine worked for Barnardo’s Uniform Factory for 12 years. Her Mum was diagnosed with Dementia and Catherine left her job to care for her Mum full time which she did for over 15 years before she sadly passed away. Catherine wanted to look for work but felt that due to her lack of experience, qualifications, and her age, she wouldn’t be able to find a job. She was able to apply for benefits whilst she wasn’t working and was offered a back to work program and enrolled for an I.T. and computer course. She passed two I.T exams and was incredibly pleased with herself as she didn’t have any self-confidence.

After more job searching, Catherine attended a training course for a carer’s position as this was all the experience she had. The training led to a job offer working in a care home. After just one day, Catherine decided it wasn’t for her as it brought back too many memories of her Mum and she left. She attended a few further interviews but had no luck and started to feel depressed and hopeless.

She said “I felt like a scrounger being on benefits and it got me down. I was worried my age would hold me back. Because of my anxiety and depression, the Job Centre referred me to HeadsUp and said the organisation can help me get back into work or training. I wasn’t worried about joining HeadsUp as I thought it’s just another company. I didn’t have much hope”

Meeting her Peer Support Worker

Catherine’s first meeting with her Peer Support Worker (PSW) was brilliant. Said she felt listened to and it gave her confidence to look for other work not just care work. Said she was excited to explore other possibilities and how her PSW went that extra mile and was on the ball. Catherine said she felt supported with phone calls she had to make, and nothing was too much trouble. Anything Catherine wanted to know, such as benefits, her PSW would assist her to find out.

Practical Skills

Catherine was then introduced to her Development and Skills Officer (DSO) and spoke about creating a CV, how to job search and interview skills. This made her feel so confident and she started to believe in herself. Catherine felt hopeful at last and that she could do other jobs and not be just a cleaner or a carer. Working with her DSO, taught her how to use a tablet device and how to use her phone to help her to job search on her own. Catherine said her DSO was so patient and kind and she was learning more about computers and felt ready to work.

Catherine’s has said “Being with HeadsUp has given me a lot more confidence and I am happy that somebody was taking an interest in me. I was feeling thick and old, but the team made me feel like a person. I really enjoyed the 1-2-1 support rather than group work as I got so much information and knowledge from them. I even attended a job fair on my own and my sister noticed how much happier I had become. It’s amazing what a bit of self-belief can do for you. I would definitely recommend HeadsUp because they helped me above and beyond. I was a wreck and had no one to turn to and these people lifted me up”

Unfortunately, due to Catherine’s illness becoming worse, she isn’t able to work at the moment, but has said when she is better, she knows that she’ll be happy and confident job searching and amending her CV by herself.


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