"I first dropped in to Clean Slate because I needed to attend a back to work interview at the Job Centre. My child was just a year old and I didn’t know what to expect. I was previously self-employed and preparing to return to self-employment part time when my son was settled at nursery.
I then found I was expecting my second child, who is now just a few months old. I carried on attending Clean Slate drop-ins during my pregnancy to help me explore and plan ahead for what I wanted to do when both my children are in nursery.
I attended a two-day induction where I met parents from a variety of backgrounds. Everybody was very friendly and relaxed, and the session was aimed at parents. It specifically dealt with concerns for parents returning to work, and also made me think about what I wanted to do when I go back to work and what I could achieve. We were able to work at our own pace in a relaxed environment. I got a great deal out of the inductions, including good information.
The goal-setting was useful, and I have been able to achieve several of the goals I set. By looking at many possibilities I was able to identify specific goals. It was good that they had quality childcare at Parkside Children’s Centre, without which I would not have been able to attend.
I have also attended training sessions to become a Work Champion with a special interest in helping young parents with childcare issues."
"In July 2012, I lost my job after a long period of unhappiness at work. I struggled to find another job, but eventually found one delivering pizzas. However, the following April my car was written off in an accident and I was forced to leave this job as well. The loss of another job so soon left me very lacking in confidence.
I discovered Clean Slate quite by chance, and although I didn’t feel I had many prospects of finding a job I went to them in the hope they could help. After completing the two-day induction course, I was offered a part-time position as an Online Champion. Although it was only a few hours each week, it was a massive boost to my confidence.
Clean Slate also encouraged me to pursue work which I was genuinely passionate about instead of applying for whatever jobs I could find. Because I am a huge film and TV fan, I applied to various agencies for extra work, and was successful in joining several of them. I have now worked on several productions while continuing my work with Clean Slate.
Clean Slate also supported me as I moved from partially to fully self-employed. The flexibility that this affords means I am able to have a very varied and satisfying working life."
Sara first came to Clean Slate in Nov 2014 just in time for one of the two day inductions. Not knowing what to expect she reported feeling like she "had lost my purpose in life".
This feeling of lacking purpose was made especially real for her at this time as her kids had recently left home at the same time as her job finishing abruptly and the shock at finding she wasn't eligible for benefits even though she had no assets and was in danger of becoming homeless.
Sara says: "I enjoyed the induction and found a really good group of people, I feel like I have made some really good friends working with Clean Slate,the people are really supportive and help bring out the best in each other - they got my brain working, thinking outside the box".
"On the course I identified my goal of setting up a drop in music cafe for youngsters in the rural area of Radstock. Clean Slate listened to my goals and encouraged me to do something I would love. After the course they offered me a food hygiene certificate course, then asked me to help at an open day preparing and serving food. They also asked if I wanted to train as a work champion to help others, I loved the idea of peer support so much so I accepted the offer. Both these opportunities have helped me move towards goal."
"I am currently working full time in a restaurant and working as a work champion half a day a week for Clean Slate which I enjoy greatly,
I just want people to know how friendly and supportive coming to Clean Slate is."