When I joined More Positive Together through Calico, I was on a bit of a low. Covid had seemed to take every last chance I had at progressing. I had finished college and felt like I was on my own. I had applied for apprentice roles in Construction and Horticulture but if I’m being honest I don’t think I was in the right mindset. I just kept getting knockbacks.
I met Katie through Calico. I had seen some of the posts on social media via my Mum who said I should get in contact but in truth, I didn’t really want to. I was just on a downer after knock backs and feeling very isolated, especially with Covid. I wasn’t seeing friends, wasn’t at college anymore and I felt like I was on my own.
When I spoke to Katie who is a Transformational Coach, she told me about some of the things she did through a project she worked on through Active Lancashire called 'More Positive Together' and it sounded interesting. I didn’t think they would do so much with all the restrictions because of the pandemic.
She made me realise that actually, it wasn’t that hard to connect even if it wasn’t 'face to face'. We began talking on the phone, going for socially distanced walks and zoom meetings. She often texted me to check in with me too. We talked about my mood and about my feelings which I hadn’t realised affected the way I come across. She began working with me on my confidence and self-belief. We started talking about my options and homing in on what I actually wanted to do.
I had a qualification from College in Horticulture and we started talking about the chance to work with some of Katies partners through Active Lancashire like The Wildlife Trust. She even put me on a CSCS course so that I could apply for a role on a building site. I now have my CSCS green card.
What I hadn’t realised was my lack of self-belief. When Katie worked with me by talking about the things I had already done, I realised that I actually could have a good CV. We worked on this and on job applications. When I had done them and read them through, I didn’t realise that actually, I’m not a bad catch!
Working on zoom and through calls gave me confidence that I could do it. Katie made me realise that even doing this helped me progress and grow in confidence. She encouraged me to go for walks with her while we chatted and the more I did, the more my mood lifted. The more my mood lifted, the more I believed in myself.
In a short space of time, I was getting interviews and even then she helped. We did prep work and worked on standard interview questions which gave me confidence that at least some of the questions, I would be able to answer well. She stopped me from feeling embarrassed about talking about my good points. But more than that, she made me realise that I have some good point – in fact, lots of them.
After applying for a role with the Council I got an interview. For the first time, I didn’t feel nervous! I even enjoyed it. I didn’t think it went that great and when I got a call an hour after the end of the interview I thought it must’ve been bad news….it wasn’t! It was amazing news – I had got the job! I worried a bit about what to wear and how to act but Katie helped with this too. She even offered to help me if I couldn’t afford stuff that I needed but once I’d enquired I actually had everything I needed.
I’ve been working there a couple of weeks now! I’m already settled into my new team and they really appreciate me. They think I’m ace – and do you know what? I think I’m a good employee but I’m working towards being ace! And I now know I can be with the help of Katie, Calico and More Positive Together. I’m appreciated and I just feel so lucky. Who’d have thought this local lad would be working for the Council!
Katie is an amazing person. Her job title is Transformational Coach but I think it should be ‘Transformational Hero’!
More Positive Together (MPT) is a Lancashire wide project that aims to help residents of some of the County’s most deprived areas improve their skills and employment prospects. The project is part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) growth programme in England and brings together a range of partners such as housing associations, local authorities and third sector organisations to provide practical help and mentoring support to project participants.
You can find out more about the project here.