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Building Better Opportunities – Good News Story - Kevin Pontin

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small local projects. Building Better Opportunities is a National Lottery and ESF funded project designed to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion throughout Worcestershire, this project is proud to tell you the story of Kevin Pontin.

Kevin was referred to Building Better Opportunities by his Probation Officer in June, after their period of employment support came to an end and she felt that he would benefit from ongoing 1-2-1 support. Kevin was hoping to find an employer who would give him the chance to prove himself.

Kevin came to us with no CV and this was the first step to ensuring that he was able to apply for jobs. It took quite a bit of discussion, and Kevin wracking his memory to remember where he worked and when but we finally had a shiny new CV. Now Kevin could apply for jobs and register with agencies, he was applying for every suitable job that he could find. We developed a cover letter and Kevin learnt how to tailor this to each new role that he was applying for, to make his application stand out. Although he was applying for lots of jobs, unfortunately he didn’t seem to be getting any interviews; Kevin was concerned that his past was putting employers off. We had many discussions about how to approach the subject with employers in a tactful way so that he was not immediately dismissed and although Kevin had never had a problem discussing his past, he now approached it in a new way.

After applying for many different jobs and hearing nothing back, Kevin became quite disheartened; he didn’t let this stop him though and we continued to plug away, apply for a variety of suitable jobs. As another option, we also booked him onto a CSCS course as we had discussed that in the building trade, some of the employers may be more willing to give him a chance.

Kevin passed his CSCS course in August, however in the meantime, to his great delight, he managed to secure employment as a Warehouse Operative with Just 4 Pets, through the agency Work Force Solutions. He is over the moon to be back at work and this has really restored his confidence and motivation, so much so that he is working all the overtime that he can get! Kevin’s performance has been reviewed by his supervisor and has been told that he is doing really well and should be taken on by the company after 12 weeks agency work.

Kevin said: “It was very worthwhile getting the extra help from BBO. The whole scheme is incredibly worthwhile and more people should do it.” He added, “Right from the very start, Jo was understanding and there was no judgement, just all the help I needed to get me back into work.”

Kevin is now able to support his children financially and is able to spend more time visiting them and taking them for days out. He is looking forward to spoiling his children this Christmas and making up for lost time. When asked about his future plans, Kevin said plainly and simply “To keep working!”

If you or anyone you know would benefit from the support of a dedicated Job Coach who will work with you to build on your own strengths and abilities to gain the confidence and skills to move into work, please get in touch now, we are waiting to hear from you.

Call 01562 733133, or email jobscoach@vestia.org.uk.


Published - 12 Jan 2018

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