"I was working for a charity and after the six month contract ended, I went to the Job Centre to look for work. That’s where I met Paul, who’s the Employment Development Co-ordinator at The Salvation Army’s Employment Plus programme.
Paul asked me what I was doing and I said I was a volunteer and he asked me if I’d like to be a paid volunteer? It meant that my manager at Splott Community Volunteers having me do extra duties on top of what I was already doing.
At Splott Community Volunteers we hold breakfast clubs on Wednesday and Thursday supporting those in the community who are in food poverty asking for a £1 donation for a breakfast and a bag of food to take away.
We invite the entire community along: elderly, disabled and the working poor as well as families so it is usually quite busy. It runs between 8-10am. I feel we unite the community by organising summer fetes, extravaganzas and trips, but the breakfast days are my favourite of the week so when Paul suggested that with added job duties I could get paid for what I love doing I couldn’t believe my luck.
I’m the first person on the Employment Plus scheme in Cardiff to start a paid placement. I’m now going to do an NVQ in administration skills. I feel really pleased to be on the Employment Plus scheme – I’m loving it and it’s life-changing to be able to do this and it means everything to me.
I’ve been given a paid job and it’s allowed me to carry on with my education and put me in a position where I can confidently go to find myself another job and I feel really happy. I now feel more positive about my future after having experienced unemployment.
I loved going out with the walking group. I felt a sense of achievement, felt healthier and I feel very positive about myself."