" I had been unemployed since 2002. I could never have achieved any of what has happened to me in 2009 without Open Door."


My name is Robert Harris and I had been unemployed since 2002.

Since then I have attended College courses at Castle Vale Campus to further my education and achieved a Diploma in New Clait and ECDL level 1 and level 2.

After completing these courses I decided I was ready to look for work. I accessed Open Door in January 2009 at the Sanctuary after reading about the service in our local paper The Vale Mail.

I met Tahmina Choudhury who is the Employment Development Officer (EDO) who straight away helped me to create a CV. I explained to her that I like to keep busy and she introduced me to her colleague Julie Mills and I registered to take part in some voluntary work in the local community.

Over the next few months I would pop in on a regular basis to meet with my EDO and we would talk through interview techniques, I had a lot of help and advice on filling in job application forms, we spoke about body language, interview dress code and how to act and also how to react during an interview. The help and advice I received was second to none and nothing was too much trouble, my EDO would take as long as was needed until I felt comfortable with any situation.

In April 2009 I spotted a vacancy in the Vale Mail working for CVCRS which is part of CVCHA our local housing association as a Reachout Worker Training and Employment Advisor working within my local community and helping others that were in the same situation I had been in since 2002.

I applied for the vacancy and waited to see if I would be selected for an interview. After several weeks I received a letter asking me to attend an interview for which I was over the moon as I was so used to being rejected. After the interview I received a phone call asking if I could attend a second interview on the following day, by now I was feeling high on life and full of confidence, the outcome was I was offered the position and I started work on 22.06.2009 and my feet have not touched the ground since.

I could never have achieved any of what has happened to me in 2009 without Open Door, not only did I receive a lot of one to one training but it also taught me to believe in myself and the effect which has created knock on effect benefiting myself, my wife, my children and my grandchildren giving us all a better quality of life.

As an added bonus I get to reachout in the community and help others to achieve what I have achieved this year and it is all thanks to Open Door.

Robert Harris




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