A natural carer

September 2nd 2014

Rashida Ibrahim, 28 from Stockton- on- Tees is a lone parent of two young children

Eight years ago, Rashida left her home country of Nigeria for a new life in Britain. With her two children aged 8 and 6 years at school, she wanted to gain employment. After completing ESOL qualifications to improve her English speaking and writing capabilities, Rashida felt that she could attain this objective.

Due to the recession and also having no work experience, she found this extremely difficult to obtain. With a determination to achieve for the future of her children, Rashida asked for support from Stockton Jobcentre who then referred her to David Todd, a Family Coach working on Five Lamps’ Family Wise project.

Family Wise seeks to help people to move into employment and is funded through the European Social Fund. It can provide support with employability skills, debt and money management, personal and social development and work experience, including volunteering.

During the initial meeting, Rashida was distressed that she did not have the experience required to gain work. However, David reassured her that she could achieve her targets. An Action Plan was created which highlighted her experience within care, which she had provided for many years as a lone parent in a stable and loving home.

David helped Rashida to identify her interest within the care industry and then located a suitable training course with Prior Pursglove College, who were running a Health and Social Care Level 1 course within the Riverbank Children’s Centre based in Thornaby. Rashida progressed well and upon its completion, enrolled onto the higher level 2 course.

David also identified voluntary work with the British Red Cross which Rashida attended to improve her work experience.

David also supported her with one-to-one intensive support. A CV was created; job search and job applications were also conducted. During one of these sessions, David identified a job that would be suitable for Rashida with Direct Health Homecare based in Stockton. A job application was submitted and a week later, with interview advice and guidance provided, Rashida had the interview and successfully gained her first job!

Rashida said of the service:

“Without the support of Five Lamps, I could not see any other way to gain employment. I had left my home country for a better life but was finding it very difficult until I accessed the Family Wise project. David really helped me and was there every step of the way. I never thought I would have a chance of being a carer, but the qualification, voluntary work and employment support I received has helped change my life and that of my children”

Rashida has been going from strength to strength and has gained a long-term contract. Due to the positive feedback she has received from her own customers and also her manager, Rashida feels that she is an important member of the team and that she has provided a positive role model for her children.

Family Wise is funded from the European Social Fund Support for Families with Multiple Problems contract. Delivered by Five Lamps across Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar & East Cleveland