Michelle; from sheltered accommodation to her own place

Michelle: gaining qualifications & securing work

In February 2021 Michelle was living in supported accommodation at St. Petrocs when she met Kirstie (a KAFE Konnect mentor) who was working with another client living at St. Petrocs.  Michelle had asked Kirstie for help finding work, getting into education or training, and she was really keen to get going on this, however, she found it quite overwhelming and didn’t know where to start.

Michelle had suffered with depression and anxiety which impacted her day-to-day motivation.  In the past she had lacked confidence, felt stuck, had feelings of worthlessness and isolation. Michelle explained that she was doing slightly better of late but that her past had made her feel stuck in a ‘dark place’, consequently, she found the prospect of group sessions too daunting and decided to work with Kirstie on a one-to-one basis.

Kirstie listened to Michelle talk about her life, her past and how this was influencing her current situation. Kirstie asked Michelle about her aspirations – this was an important step to identifying the type of key actions that would help move Michelle forwards.

Michelle’s passion was to gain qualifications in painting and decorating and perhaps, in the future, work towards a career in interior design. Michelle wanted to gain confidence, find meaningful employment that she would enjoy and work to build a career that she would be proud of.

Michelle and Kirstie started work on several SMART actions as part of a greater plan for Michelle, each action agreed would help move her one step closer to achieving her aspirations. These actions covered the following key steps.

  1. Focussing on successfully gaining a CSCS card, Kirstie referred Michelle to CMT Training St Austell. Michelle completed the course work and practiced completing mock tests prior to sitting the CSCS card, which she aced! This was a huge boost for Michelle’s self-esteem and gave her the confidence to work through the other actions agreed.
  2. Michelle had once had a CV but it was out of date and lost. Kirstie supported Michelle to create an up-to-date CV (which also included her newly acquired CSCS card). Kirstie and Michelle focussed on creating a CV that would support her in applying for roles in the construction industry. Kirstie helped Michelle to write a personal statement that stood out by being personal (we see lots of personal statements that are generic and jammed with cliches). With this support, Michelle was able to create a personal statement that sold her skills, strengths, determination and potential.
  3. Kirstie helped Michelle with a character reference based on her observations of the hard work and dedication she had put into moving forwards.
  4. Using the CV (including personal statement), newly gained qualifications and character reference, Michelle successfully applied for and secured an interview. Kirstie and Michelle prepared for the interview to help Michelle feel more confident on the day.

With Kirstie’s support, Michelle has a secured full-time employment, and whilst the job she has secured is in a different sector to her end goal, it’s a sector that she enjoys and finds rewarding.  This job is enabling Michelle to gain valuable work experience (that’s current), a work-related reference and earn money which she is using to learn how to drive. This will open further opportunities and in the longer-term enable Michelle to secure work in the construction sector, as a painter and decorator and then as an interior designer.

At the time of writing (November), Michelle’s confidence had grown, she had saved enough money to pay a deposit for her own flat moving out of the sheltered accommodation she had been living in when Kirstie first met her.

Michelle’s efforts in taking ownership of her life, gaining new qualifications, attending interviews and securing work has been inspirational and we at Konnect Communities are incredibly proud of the effort she has applied to improving her situation and distance she has travelled.

If you are unemployed and looking for support (or you know someone who might benefit from our support) feel free to contact us for a confidential and non-judgemental chat.