Kerry's Journey In To Work!

Kerry had been unemployed for 17 years, since leaving education. She brought up her 3 children on her own and felt, last year, that it was time for her to do something for herself.

Kerry attended an “Introduction to Care” course last year. She was then successful in her application to join the Me 2 You course at Cumnock Academy. Kerry was really nervous at the start in January 2016 as she felt she had lost her self-confidence and had become quite isolated. 

Her confidence started to build as she was working alongside people who felt the same as Kerry. She found that she enjoyed learning and quickly picked up new skills. Having a purpose and something to do during the day was a big turning point for Kerry.  

She says “being at home all day and having little money to spend was soul destroying.  I was lucky I have two good friends who have supported me through it all”. 

Kerry worked as a Classroom Assistant during her time at Cumnock Academy.

Kerry has dyslexia and the school was very supportive with her written work. She took control of all the Art department stores and cupboards, ensuring the materials were stored and put away in a tidy manner. The Teaching staff really appreciated Kerry’s support in the department and this helped build Kerry’s confidence during the 8 weeks in school.

At home the family’s routine changed. Kerry was now leaving the house in the morning at the same time as the children. Kerry reflects now and realises that, before, she really didn’t have a routine as she felt she had all week to do things. Overnight things changed, the children were proud of their Mum and gave her full support and took more responsibility for chores at home. Kerry made new friends and felt so much more positive about finding a job.

After Me 2 you Kerry was supported by Laura Owens of East Ayrshire Council’s Essential Skills with her dyslexia. She was also referred to Maureen Millar of East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development Department, who then supported Kerry to progress on her journey.

Kerry engaged well with Maureen and her confidence continued to grow.  Whilst paid employment as a Classroom Assistant was proving difficult to secure for Kerry, it was discovered through engaging with Economic Development that Kerry could be very well suited to working within the Care Industry.  Through working closely with the DWP, an 8 week work experience placement was secured at Bute House, after having secured funding by EAC for Enhanced Disclosure for Kerry. 

Maureen Millar was contacted by the Manager at Bute House only 4 weeks in to her placement, saying how impressed she was with Kerry and that paid employment was on offer.

Kerry started paid employment at Bute House on 7th November 2016.

The story doesn’t end there as Kerry is now embarking on her SVQ level 2 in Social Services and Healthcare.  This is being funded by the European Social Fund, funding which was secured by East Ayrshire Council.


Kerry said –

“I would like to thank Maureen Millar of East Ayrshire Council and Kaye Hannah from the Jobcentre and also the staff at Cumnock Academy, Bute House and East Ayrshire Council. Without the support from Lorraine and Scott I would never have pushed myself  as far. I am delighted to have my first job at age 35 and am looking forward to having some extra cash for Christmas to spend on my family. I have made gradual progress to get a job, it didn’t happen overnight, it was a combination of lots of things I participated in. However it worked, it all helped, and now I am a working Mum, I am so very proud of myself and feel fantastic!”