European Social Fund (ESF) case study - NIACRO Working Well 2

Working Well is a project delivered by NIACRO in partnership with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Prison Service. The project, which supports people who have offended to progress towards the Labour Market, is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Working Well project

Working Well’s focus is on supporting participants to move into training, education or employment (as appropriate), offering opportunities for building confidence, employability skills and undertaking relevant qualifications. Interview preparation, work taster sessions and placements are also important elements.

The Project also works with employers, Further Education colleges and training providers to increase awareness of the needs of people with convictions and to support compliance with legislation regarding disclosure of convictions.

Participant's story

This participant heard about Working Well through his Probation Officer. He knew he needed to get back into work but was concerned how his criminal record would affect his prospects. He felt like he needed someone to take a chance on him. He required someone to mentor, encourage and motivate him.

Here, the participant’s support worker describes the help that was provided and includes some quotes from emails received from the participant.

Support worker's testimony

We started off with a CV and then worked together on a Disclosure Statement. The participant felt that the Disclosure Statement gave him a chance to put his side of the story across and explain why and how he found himself in this position.

I sent him links to job advertisements via email and when NIACRO held a Service User Forum he attended.

The participant responded:

“Thank you for letting me know. I'll check it out definitely! I'm more motivated now on the job front because of the Disclosure Statement and the CV.”

“Thanks for having me up yesterday at the Service User Forum. It gives me a bit more confidence on the job front.”

The participant was invited for an interview in retail and was successful.

He emailed:

“I just thought I would say to you because I'm excited. I got a wee interview for this Thursday! I disclosed my convictions as well so at least it wasn't a 'no' straight off the mark. I've you to thank because you done my Disclosure Statement.”

“I really can't thank you enough for all your help between the Disclosure Statement, CV and any jobs that came up. I really didn't think I'd get something this soon either.”

The participant’s future plans include learning to drive and doing an Information Technology course.

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