Hi I’m Hayley, I’m 25 years old.

When I was unemployed I lost all of my confidence and self belief and felt worthless. Even though I tried so hard to get employment, no one would give me the chance.

I applied for 100 jobs a week, I even walked the streets in the rain handing out CVs and cover letters. I didn’t even get a reply back. It was very disheartening and very disappointing. It does knock you down, because all I wanted was to be earning money.

The month before I came to Pluss I was put on an Engage and Challenge Course through the Jobcentre where I was supported to put my CV together with cover letters to try and gain employmentt. Before this 4 week course I hadn’t had any other support to help me know where I was going wrong in my hunt for work.

I felt alone when I was unemployed because I’m really a get up and go person, but it just drags you down. I heard of the work experience opportunity with Pluss through the Jobcentre straight after the 4 week course. The Jobcentre told me this would be a great opportunity to be able to gain more experience and it was a role that I would love to do, so I jumped at the chance to be able to have this opportunity for 2 weeks.  There was an information day held for half a day on the Thursday telling you all about Pluss and what the 2 weeks involved and I just couldn’t wait to start this amazing journey. It was doing something I had never done before and it gave me something to really focus on.

In my 2 weeks’ work experience at Pluss I had an amazing opportunity to be able to shadow a job coach in their role, supporting people with learning disabilities in the work place. Whilst I was there I went to Pixieland Nursery supporting someone gardening, St Luke’s warehouse packing clothes, and working in the supported employment units within Pluss. It was the most fulfilling work experience I have ever done, working with inspiring people. In the 2 weeks I was with Pluss I felt happier within myself and I regained my confidence by the time I left. I just knew I would try everything to come back to work for Pluss.

The work experience really helped me because I found out that I just loved helping people and gaining experience. It gave me my fight back – to actually know what I really wanted and to hopefully start earning money. When I got an interview for a job with Pluss I knew I had to the the best I could, to prove I could do the job to the best standard.

I was so overwhelmed when I got the phone call from Pluss saying that I got a Job Coach role. I felt very proud of myself because I really did fight to be here and in employment. Pluss saw me grow along this journey, they believed in me and gave me one thing no one else did – a chance.  It made me feel I was worth something again and most importantly of all I started to believe in myself again. It is a real privilege to work with amazing, inspiring people everyday. Three months down the line working as a job coach I have gained some amazing opportunities; undergone training; gained qualifications and knowledge; and I hope to progress further in time.

Pluss has truly changed my life and the person that I am. I feel like a new girl! I would recommend this journey and experience to everyone. Without the work experience I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m the happiest I have ever been in a career. I have one thing to say and that’s a big “thank you” to Pluss for making me believe you can achieve anything if you just work hard and put your mind to it.