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How we helped Dawn back into work after 30 years

A customer who was helped to find work after spending more than 30 years as an unpaid carer for her mum has praised our Employment and Skills service.

Dawn Jones, from Birmingham, quit her paid job as a carer when her mum fell ill. Dawn looked after her for nearly 35 years before she sadly passed away in January. But Dawn’s passion for caring hadn’t disappeared, and she was determined to return to the job she’d given up three decades earlier.

She tried exploring possible routes back into work through the job centre, but said she was left underprepared after getting no support with writing a CV or with interview preparation.

At the start of July, Dawn was referred to Rob Friday, our Employment and Training Advisor, by Community Support Worker Charlene Coulson. Dawn and Charlene have been working together for around two years now.

Dawn said this intervention made all the difference to her confidence and job hunt, which has seen her get a job in a local care home, working 30 hours a week.

“My mum had always said she felt guilty holding me back while I was looking after her, but I always said that eventually, if I was able, I’d go back to work,” she said.

“It was hard finding how to get back into work after so many years because it’s all changed in the industry.

“It was mum’s last wish, so I thought if I can just get down that path and get back into it, I’d go and do it.

“I went to a job fayre to see what they could offer me, but they said without qualifications or a CV it would be hard to go back into work.”

I’d tell people to just keep trying and trying. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Lady typing on a laptop

As a self-confessed technophobe, Dawn said that she just didn’t know where to start in her job hunt.

“I was put in touch with Charlene, and she put me in touch with Rob, who explained what he could do to help me,” she added.

“Other people wouldn’t help me. I was just confused and had a meltdown at one point because I didn’t feel like anyone was helping me.

“But Rob helped me in lots of ways. As I’d been looking after my mum for so many years, I wasn't into computers or technology, so I was hitting a brick wall.

“He explained everything and helped me with my CV and applying online.

“I was over the moon. He was really helpful.”

Dawn’s first appointment with Rob was on 6 July and she’d secured an interview by 18 July. Incredibly, she was offered the job by 20 July.

Dawn said she’d encourage all customers looking for work to consider speaking to Rob. “I’m very relieved,” she said. “I’d got myself into debt and I couldn’t get out of it, but with the job, now I’m sorting that out and it’s occupying my mind.

“I like all the people I work with and the elderly people – I always think they’re like my mum!

“I’m very grateful. If it wasn’t for Longhurst Group I wouldn’t have known where to turn. I’d still be stuck without Rob helping me.

“I’d tell people to just keep trying and trying. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. “It’s just finding the right person to guide you and explain things better to you. Rob can do that.

“If I can get a job, a lot of other people can get a job.”

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