My journey back into work after 30 years

My journey back into work after 30 years

From not leaving the house to having a job I LOVE

My journey back to work after 30 years has been incredible, with just a couple of years ago I wasn’t able to go out of my front door, not even to cut the grass – and I love gardening.

But thanks to CVST, the staff, trustees and volunteers, now I have a job I love and I’m even driving again for the first time in 30 years.

And it all started with joining the Craft Group at the Dovercourt and Harwich Hub.

My friend asked me to come along but I was really shy and had no confidence.

On the first day I couldn’t even walk through the door. But I went along and started making some friends.

I joined the Beat the Street Game and Street Tag, which got me more active and I became a volunteer, which I was so proud of.

At first, I wasn’t sure about it, but it was lovely helping people.

We would have events like Pink Day and the Jubilee and I would get up the front and dress up and they all loved it. I had such great fun.

Then one day Becky, CVST’s physical activity co-ordinator, said there was a job going as a community connector and said I should apply.

I really wasn’t sure if I could do it.

But with Becky’s support I applied and I had the interview and I got the job! I couldn’t believe it.

There were a couple of times in the beginning where I didn’t think I was good enough. And I nearly gave it all up a couple times.

But I listened to Becky’s advice and encouragement and I carried on.

And I’m so glad I carried on because I absolutely love my job and I love what I do.

I still can’t believe what I’m doing – it’s brilliant.

I run walking groups and help people to join clubs and get their confidence.

I have an Essex Pedal Power bike now and I offer sessions to get people more confident riding again.

It’s just so nice to see people how I used to be, well I was worse, and see them get out there and get confident and enjoy themselves.

  • Shirley’s role as a physical activity volunteer and community connector is funded by Active Essex’s Local Delivery Pilot.
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