I don’t like to stick to the usual porridge when I get into work. I like a pastry in the morning – it helps when checking through resources and session plans to have something tasty.
Saints Works helps 16-25-year olds who are not in education, employment, or formal training to get back on their feet with the main goal of getting them into employment. Alongside this, they gain a qualification as well as confidence, social skills and new friends.
We try to deviate away from your average study methods as this could have scared off our participants in the past. So, we use interactive learning to keep it different from stuff they’ve done before. We like to have a class between 10-15 people so I can spend more time with each of them so they can fulfil their goals.
In the classroom, our topics can range from life skills to employability. Our goal is to get them into work, but we want to make sure that they can sustain that lifestyle once they’ve entered employment. It’s a three-hour session so I make sure there are plenty of breaks involved so I can keep them concentrating on that week’s topic. I may have a set plan, but things are always changing and I like to keep them on the toes and in the dark about what we’re doing. This keeps the guys engaged and focused.
Some of my participants stick around after the session to have a chat with me about anything they want. My door is always open to them as I may be the only person they can talk to. To support them like this is half the job and it’s nice that they have a sound board to cope with the strains of their lives.
It can be a high-octane three hours so a big lunch is required to refuel for the afternoon.
I am back at the desk after that, where I will be looking for opportunities to enhance the course. This can be organising events from careers fairs to some potential pathways for our participants. This time is invaluable to the running of the project.
Every individual is different, so I am always looking to find them the right fit. They should not be pushed into a role they don’t like, so it’s important that I cater to their requirements.
Part of my job is safeguarding and these are issues that are high priority. The nature of the group can depend on how intensive this is, but typically I update records and intervene where necessary. Monitoring and evaluation is a huge part of the role, so I will talk to our volunteers and casual members of staff to make sure that we are doing everything we can to get the best out of our sessions.
Finding an outcome for a person is the goal of our project, so when I see them in employment and standing on their own two feet, that’s a massive win for me. I don’t get this every time, so that is something I am always striving for.