The end of a 13 year journey

Jane was the manager of a Deli Café in Plymouth for 13 years. In March 2020, after the announcement of the first COVID 19 lockdown, she was furloughed but later made redundant after being told the café had to close. This was a massive shock for Jane as she had been there from the first day and had built it up from scratch.

Jane started to think about having to job hunt again which she found difficult. She didn’t know where to go for support because she felt as though her age was against her and so many other people were being made redundant.

“I felt like I was washed up”

After signing on for Universal Credit, Jane was referred to the JETS programme in October 2020. She was supported by her Employment Advisor Rachel. “She was amazing and really encouraging. I felt like I was washed up, but she gave me a lot of confidence. Her enthusiasm really boosted me.”

Rachel referred Jane to Heather, who supported Jane with her technical abilities. She taught her how to use Microsoft Teams on her iPad and talked through interview techniques which Jane found really interesting. Jane explained, “Every time I said, ‘I can’t do that’, Heather would tell me that I could. She really encouraged me to do things that I never thought I could do.”

Back to serving the people and doing what she loves

Jane is now working at a pasty shop, just down the road from her previous job which she says she finds very comforting. Jane recalls, “I remember walking down that road and noticing that their shop was open. I commented to the owner that I was happy to see that they were able to stay open during these difficult times. He had put a table at the front of his shop to act as a kiosk to serve his customers at a distance, which he said came from inspiration from my store as we did the same. One thing led to another and he gave me a few trial shifts then I was offered a job!”

Although Jane is no longer in a managerial role, she says she finds this job refreshing and prefers the lack of pressure. Revealing what she loves most about her job, she says, “I love the interaction with people. You feel like there’s more to you.”

Find out more about our JETS programme here.

The Work and Health JETS programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund. Stock image used.

Area: Plymouth, Devon

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