By Kathryn Middleton, ecdp Works participant, cycle 4
In this blog, ecdp Works participant Kathryn explores her feelings about joining the programme, and what it was like arriving at ecdp for the first week of training.
I signed up for the ecdp works course and as the start date got nearer I became more concerned. Had I done the right thing, would everyone else be young people and I would be the only middle aged person? It was with anxiety that I arrived at the office on Monday morning. The two people who turned up at the same time were the age of my youngest children, but there was someone else at reception who seemed more my age. I walked into the room and took a look around, there were people of all ages, and with various disabilities. Most of them, like me, had invisible disabilities.
'We sat at tables of four and very quickly I found myself chatting with the other people.
We all had a similar aim, to get back into work'
Our reasons for being out of work were varied, some had worked until recently, some had been unemployed for a long time, but we started to work together on activities that were helpful to us all. It soon became obvious to me that this was not going to be a waste of time. I was not going to be working for 2 months with no end result. It is a supportive group of people who, like me, all want to get a job. I have come home exhausted, but I am looking forward to tomorrow with confidence that I will gain new skills to help me get the job I want. I arrived early, as I was keen to see what we were going to do. Today Mitie took sessions on Energy, Resilience and Communication. The things we covered are things that I mostly know, but it is good to have it reinforced. It is one thing to know something but another to have it said by someone who is training professionally!
'It makes you realise that you do know what to do, and you are doing things the right way.'
We ended the day with a game of Blockbusters with questions on the things we had covered today. There was no prize and our team had no chance of winning, because the Blocks were uneven! But it was amazing how competitive we all were. So far the course has proved to be interesting, with people helping each other out and lots of laughing whilst we are also learning ways to help us get back into work.