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Chloe's Story

Before I went to Norwich4jobs Monday Support Club, I was struggling to find a job and my confidence was much lower than it is now. At the time I joined Norwich4jobs I had just finished my MA degree in Creative Writing and was volunteering for Hellesdon Library where I had been volunteering for since the year I started sixth form. I also volunteered for the Conservation Volunteers from 2014 to 2015 and Oxfam St Giles from 2016 to 2019. I had been trying to get a part time job all the while I was studying but whilst I got lots of interviews I never got the job and even after my studying finished I still struggled to get any job whether it was full time, part time or temporary.  I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. My feedback in interviews was that didn’t have enough experience but I thought how can I get experience if I can’t get the job?  That’s where Norwich4jobs and the Prince’s Trust came in. I found out about Norwich4jobs from the job centre who told me that they were a project who help people aged 18-24 get into work.  Norwich4jobs offered invaluable support and they never put any pressure on you.  Everyone there was very welcoming and friendly. It was nice to see other young people in the same boat as you because it made you feel like you weren’t the only one struggling.  Although getting young people into work is a big aim for Norwich4Jobs, it is not just all about that.  They are also keen to improve your confidence and develop your interests.  I did a Confidence Building course with N4J Partner NCLS and got help with my CV writing.  Both things were very useful to me.  Norwich4jobs gave you a list of vacancies coming up such as Jobs, Apprenticeships, Courses and Work experience. Courses included cooking, film making and a range of other activities.  They also gave you lots of information about events and social activities you might be interested in such as coffee mornings, walks, crafts and board games.  The group even went to help at a Community Garden to help with social interaction.  We also went to visit places such as City College Norwich and the Forum Library.  There is also lots of timeless One to One support available and you can have Mock interviews etc.  The whole point of the project is it is tailored support matched to meet your needs.

I did manage to get a small job working for Just Regional whilst I was at Norwich4jobs.  I had to deliver the local Just Hellesdon magazine once every four weeks which I really enjoyed as I love walking outside. This boosted my confidence whilst I was looking for a job with more hours.  It was through Norwich4jobs that I found out about OnTrack and the Prince’s Trust. OnTrack were also very helpful to me. OnTrack supports 18-24 year olds who are unemployed and have barriers.  I had meetings with my OnTrack coach every once every two weeks. OnTrack also helped me look at jobs and activities.  Norwich4jobs informed me about the Princes-Trust courses.  The first one I did was ‘Get into Theatre’ which lasted five days and was useful.  The second one I did was ‘Get into Health and Social Care’ which was a four week course. I had two weeks work experience at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital doing admin.   After that, I had two weeks Work Experience at Norwich Community Hospital doing Admin, Housekeeping and shadowing Clinical staff.  I decided that I really wanted to go into admin and the people I met on my placements were really nice.  I found out that if you had done the Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Health and Social Care’ course you were then guaranteed an interview if you applied for a position within the NHS.  This was how I got my apprenticeship!

I am now working as an Apprentice Admin Assistant at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, Colman Hospital. Everyone is really friendly and I am now doing things that I didn’t know I was capable of. I enjoy having a routine and keeping my mind occupied. I work full time Monday to Friday 9-5 so I love the balance of a five days’ work then a weekend to unwind. I used to worry before I had a job of how I would juggle doing the things I enjoyed and the things I needed to do but the answer is it just falls into place as best as it can! Without the support of Norwich4jobs I don’t think I would be where I am now and I think I would still be trying to find a job.