As our We Want to Work campaign continues, this week we tell the uplifting story of a former school administrator who, down on her luck after redundancy, has turned the situation into an opportunity and set up her own business.
We have teamed up with Action for Employment (A4e), based at Quarry Road, Lancaster, which is contracted to deliver the Government’s Work Programme for people who have found themselves in long-term unemployment in North Lancashire.
With your help, the six people we aim to find work for are:
Ethan West, aged 19, a former apprentice mechanic from Lancaster
Matthew Stinson, 22, from Low Bentham, previously an electrician’s mate
Heather Mayne, 26, from Lancaster, an ex-sales assistant
Paul Hammond, 21, from Morecambe, a shop volunteer
Glen Carmichael, 38, of Lancaster, who is looking for retail work
Adam Knowles, 24, from Lancaster, an aspiring youth worker and ex-soldier
Next week, we hope to catch up with some of the hopefuls about how their job searches are progressing.
They may be inspired by Alyson De Peiza, who has been working with A4e’s specialists to launch her own venture.
Made redundant as an office administrator at Christmas 2011, the 48-year-old has now established Alyson De Peiza Beauty Therapy.
She explained: “It’s been very difficult to find work. I was hoping to go into an admin-type role. As time went by, I was getting quite disheartened. After being out of work for a year, I was put onto the A4e programme and they encouraged me to broaden my horizons and do something completely different.
“I was trained as a beauty therapist and thought about going back to it but the thought of working for myself was a bit daunting. I discussed it with the people here and they encouraged me and said I had the skills to move forward. They have been very supportive and contributed funding towards a massage diploma.”
Alyson, a single parent, will work mobile and from home, but she said going it alone will not mean she cuts contact with the A4e team.
The business start-up support is just another branch of the help on offer at the centre and she will remain in touch with them.
Alyson added: “Had I not had the encouragement from these guys here, I would still be trying to find admin work and being miserable.
“It was quite soul-destroying really, especially in the long-term as you begin to feel worthless being out of work. Now, I feel like I am in control of my life, rather than life being in control of me.”
If you have a suitable position, contact the Lancaster Guardian on 01524-834008 or A4e on 01524-385720.