We ran a course recently in North Yorkshire to help people take the first steps towards independent living. We try not to go into detail about the attendees, unless they specifically wish us to tell their stories. It is an important aspect of our safeguarding policy not to overly expose people who have, in the majority of cases, already been through enough!
We have however, received fantastic feedback from the participants. One person said that the course had come at exactly the right time in their life as having been out of work for over ten years due to health reasons, they were now ready to face the challenge of getting off benefits and becoming self-sufficient but they had no clue where to start.
What they wanted out of the course was an answer to questions such as , “What should I be doing with my life?”, “In terms of work, where can I find my niche?”. One participant made the point that, in their experience, interviewers don’t ask enough questions about their natural abilities, which he believed that whilst he felt he had limited skills, he had an abundance of ‘soft skills’.
Another participant said, “I don’t know where I am going and I want a clearer direction about what I really want. I have never really wanted the ‘norm’, I like being an individual, I like being a ‘maverick’, but I have felt for too long that I just don’t fit in anywhere. I’m registered disabled, I’m on benefits, and I’m ashamed of this”.
The word they agreed to use was, ‘Powerless’.
After two days, and armed with a lot of homework, they left the course with more clarity and focus. They now have a mechanism to become more aware of who they are as people, not as statistics, or ticks on a government form. They are beginning to see that they are individuals with bags of ability and much to offer the world of work. This, we hope will have an impact on their self-esteem.
Nicholas, one of our Trustees, who delivers the courses based upon his Transperformance philosophy, has been in contact with participants since the course and has been assisting them, not only to develop their work, but in other ways too, like finding accommodation for one of them who is going to be homeless in two weeks time, and contacting other agencies to see if funds could be made available to help one participant in particular with some specialist equipment he needs to get him out of the house and active.
Running these courses is what makes us different and is such an important thing we do at Soldier On! This is what we are all about, helping disadvantaged, vulnerable and socially isolated people who feel ‘stuck in a rut’ to find a way forward, when for many of them, it seems everything is against them. This course could only have been made possible through the heroic fundraising efforts of team Row4Victory, four crazy men who, as we speak, are a third of the way into a row of some 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. They are raising funds for us, as well as the Royal British Legion, and all the money donated to us through this event is being spent on delivering our personal development courses. Please check them out and give them a ‘thank you’ and bit of support on their social media.
Our ambition is to deliver careers advice/personal development not only monthly in North Yorkshire, but also on-site when we are running archaeology and heritage projects. But, we do need to fund these activities. If you can see the benefit in helping people in this way, could you consider making a donation or connecting with us to discuss our becoming a charity of choice to your business? Thanks so much.