Finding work can be difficult but there is help out there and, as one resident explained, it can change your life.
Ealing Council runs three weekly work clubs to help residents plan a route into employment – based in Acton, Hanwell and Northolt.
The clubs offer guidance and support, internet access, help with their job search, CV writing and interview techniques. Advice can also be sought on developing new skills as a way of getting into work – through vocational training, education or volunteering opportunities. And, it can really make a difference.
‘MONEY WORRIES TOOK OVER’
Magdalena Rutkowska, a single mother-of-two from Hanwell, was left struggling financially when the national benefit cap came into force.
The prospect of work seemed almost unobtainable to Magdalena because of the struggle of paying for childcare and housing for her young family.
However, she was determined to find out more and contacted the local welfare assistance team and it referred her to the council’s work clubs.
She said: “Having the housing benefit cut impacted my life, money worries took over and I experienced low self-esteem, so I decided to do something about it.”
When Magdalena joined the Hanwell club, she expressed interest in becoming a self-employed childminder. Work club staff helped her to enrol on a functional skills and childminding course funded by the council’s Work Education Support and Training (WEST) project, to ensure she completed all the required qualifications to become a certified childminder.
While studying, the council granted Magdalena a Discretionary Housing Payment Award to help her with housing costs and she was able to move to a two-bed property, ideal to run her proposed business from.
‘IT HELPED ME CHANGE MY LIFE’
Magdalena was determined in finding a solution that worked well for her family and, with the support she received from work clubs and the WEST team, she is now a certified childminder and is getting her house ready to get her business started.
“When I was referred to work clubs I found new hope,” she said. “Everyone was very friendly and supportive, they kept me focused and motivated to achieve my goal. I’m so happy now, we can have a normal life and I can’t wait to get my business running.
“Joining the club definitively helped me change my life for the better, I got my confidence back and I’m getting ready to start my own business. I couldn’t have done it without the support from the council and services that help make this possible.”
‘IT IS SO PLEASING TO HEAR STORIES LIKE THIS’
Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for business and community services, said: “Ealing Council offers a range of programmes to support residents into work and help them get ahead and to share in the economic opportunities available in the borough. This applies whether you are a young person starting out, someone looking to get back into employment or you are simply seeking to improve your skills to boost your career prospects.
“It is so pleasing to hear stories like Magdalena’s. Learning of her successful journey and the positive future she can now build for her family, it reminds you of why these schemes are so important.”
More information on the work clubs
Ealing Council runs work clubs in Acton, Hanwell and Northolt. Anyone living in the borough and looking for a job is welcome to attend any of the clubs.
You do not need to make an appointment, just call-in, and start planning your journey into work. For more information, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/workclubs
Working for you
Are you looking for a job, interested in starting an apprenticeship, or searching for courses to help improve your CV and get ahead? Visit ealingworkwest.com for information about employment and skills opportunities including: Apprenticeships, jobs, training, adult learning, preemployment programmes, and community learning.