News

28th, October 2013

Vote for Norton House

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Norton House has been nominated as a chosen charity for ASDA’s Community Life project starting on Friday 1st November through until December.

ASDA’s Community Life programme was created to help make  local communities better places to live and work.

Customers will ‘vote’ for local charities using tokens collected at the till, with ASDA making pro-rata donations. So please next time you visit Fosse Park make sure you collect a token and vote for Norton House.

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Check out the Community Life noticeboard next time you’re in ASDA to see what we’re up to and find out how you can get involved.

Leicester City Council’s Leicester to Work set up the Step-Up project designed to get over 150 young people aged 18-24, unemployed for longer than six months, off jobseekers allowance and into six months of paid work experience. This month saw the 50th successful placement; Natalie, who has taken up a role as an Assistant Support Worker with Norton House.

When Norton House found out about the project they saw it as a really good opportunity to work with somebody who was keen to work in the field but wouldn’t usually get a chance. Norton House has a low staff turnover and usually find it easy to recruit.  They haven’t worked with unskilled young people in the past.

Natalie was on Jobseekers Allowance and placed with the InTraining agency to support her search for work.  She was depressed and lacking confidence. It’s taken three years to get this post.  She was happy to take anything to get back into work including voluntary or part time roles and has had some experience of similar work while caring for her grandparents.

Step Up supports people into placements from all walks of life like Natalie who and left school at 16 with little support offered on her career choices. She worked to support herself through college and placements in childcare. The key elements to be successful in a Step Up placement are to be interested, enthusiastic, willing to learn, and to develop new skills.

Natalie’s tasks include working across the eight different homes cooking with and chatting to Service Users, keeping them company, and going on short visits to town . She also supported a trip for 26 Service Users to Matlock Bath.  After just a week, she feels she has more confidence than before and mostly enjoys chatting to Service Users and staff who have really made her feel welcome. She knows now that this is something she always wanted to do “this is my main career focus now – to become a support worker. I’m getting the experience that I need, and with this on my CV I will get snapped up like that!!” Natalie said.

Whilst in her placement, Natalie will get the opportunity to undertake training for her role, and in the skills she needs to apply for jobs and to make her CV stand out with a wide range of personal and professional skills. She will be learning about different mental health issues, food hygiene, health and safety and will be able to attend training courses provided for fellow Step Up placements run by other businesses hosting them.

Finally, we asked Julie and Chief Executive Sue Pooley how they felt about the project and whether they had advice for businesses considering offering a placement. They said “it’s a fantastic opportunity to give somebody a chance.  We love the way Natalie listens and she is very comfortable to be around. The Service Users like her and she is willing to learn and happy to ask questions. That’s all we really want from somebody.  Although we are confident we got the best person for our job, there are lots of other people out there like Natalie who are raring to go….”

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