Janine swaps the Big Smoke for the quiet life

Janine Crooks, 56 from Narberth finds her perfect job thanks to EU Funded project Workways+.

Janine, originally from London signed up to the Workways+ project after re-locating to Pembrokeshire 1 year ago.

She had previously worked as a Civil Servant in central London for over 30 years until she made the decision to leave the Big City for a quieter life in the Welsh countryside. After settling into her new home, Janine, who was not ready to retire, wanted to get back to work but not knowing anyone or how to go about looking for work she went along to Careers Wales who referred her to Workways+. Janine began working with Volunteering Co-ordinator Louise and Workways+ mentor Rebecca, working together they worked on Janine’s confidence, employability skills and looked for suitable volunteering opportunities.

A volunteering vacancy was sourced at the beautiful Picton Castle in the heart of the Pembrokeshire. The placement was perfect, a complete contrast to the fast paced life she lived in London. Janine began volunteering at the Castle and after 2 months a post became available and she was offered the job.

Janine said “Re-locating to a new place where I didn’t know anyone was very daunting. Once I settled into my home I had to go and look for work, I’d never been out of work so didn’t know where to start. I was referred to Workways+ and immediately felt supported. They sourced a volunteering placement which turned into a job at the Castle and I love it. Working in such a beautiful place was my dream, I couldn’t be happier.”

Since January 2017 Janine has completed over 200 hours of volunteering with different organisations including Picton Castle. Louise Wilkinson, Volunteering Development Co-ordinator says ‘Volunteering is a great way to learn something new, or keep existing skills up to date, and can really help people make a positive step towards paid work. I am really pleased the Castle spotted Janine’s potential and was able to offer her a job.’

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, wished Janine all the best in her new role and said: “I’m pleased that the partnership working between Workways+ and PAVS is proving successful in sourcing volunteering opportunities that give people a chance to use their existing skills, learn new ones, and improve their prospects of employment.”

Workways+ provides support to help people overcome the barriers which prevent them from finding work. Participants, who choose to take part in the project, are helped with job applications, CVs, interview techniques, personal development and access to training.

Led by Neath Port Talbot Council in collaboration with Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion Councils, the Workways+ project is backed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

For more information on the Workways+ project, please call 01437 776609, email workways+@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or visit www.workways.wales

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