Wise Journeys #5 – Jacqueline, Fair Start

New start for Paisley mum thanks to Fair Start Scotland 

 When Jacqueline was made redundant last September, it was a shock to the system. The 49-year-old mum from Paisley had never been out of work before and wasn’t sure where to start when it came to things like writing a personal statement or interviewing for a job.  

 On top of this, Jacqueline had experienced struggles with her mental health which meant her confidence had been shaken. She knew she’d need some support to find her feet again. 

 That’s where Fair Start Scotland came in.  

 Fair Start Scotland is an employment service which helps people in Scotland find work. The Wise Group delivers this service for people in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire, and so Jacqueline got in touch with the Wise Group when she heard about Fair Start Scotland. 

 When people join Fair Start Scotland at the Wise Group, they get a dedicated work coach who provides them with support, advice and guidance on all the skills they need to find a job, whether that’s working on a CV or getting to grips with job searching. The Wise Group can even provide advice on setting up your own business, if that’s the route you’d like to take. 

 “My work coach, Giovanna, started by asking me what it was she could do for me. That was a breath of fresh air to begin with, because it wasn’t like ‘We can only do a, b or c’ – I got to say exactly what I needed,” smiles Jacqueline. 

   “Giovanna is an amazing listener and she gave me so much smart advice. I wasn’t very good with interview skills because I wasn’t very confident so she helped me a lot with that, building up my confidence, providing me with honest feedback as well as helping with my CV and personal statement. It was just amazing.” 

 Jacqueline went through some challenging times this year when she, her husband and her daughter all contracted Covid-19, with her husband being hospitalised for three months. She found that Giovanna provided more than just help to find work – she was also a friendly ear who was always available for emotional support. 

   “I don’t know what I would have done without her,” says Jacqueline. 

    “Talking to Giovanna was like talking to a friend. 

   “She was the right person who came into my life at the right time and I will forever be indebted to her.” 

 Since joining Fair Start Scotland, Jacqueline has been offered a job and she will continue to receive support from Giovanna even when she begins working again. This is all part of the Fair Start Scotland service, to make sure that everyone still has that helping hand to guide them through. 

   “The future is so much brighter now,” says Jacqueline.  

   “I have a whole different outlook on life because of everything I’ve been through, and now I feel really excited about what lies ahead. I couldn’t have done it without Fair Start.”