Gaining confidence & skills through employment

In an earlier blog last year we brought you the story of Leeann.

Leeann previously used Turning Point Scotland 218 service but now works full time as an admin assistant for Braveheart Industries, based within the Violence Reduction Unit.

She graduated through the Street and Arrow programme and discusses how it has helped her:

“I got involved through one of my friends, one of the mentors in Braveheart. I met up with him and he told me a bit about Braveheart. I hadn’t been employed for nearly four years. I was in Recovery and I just felt it was the right time to start looking for a job.

They got me an interview and I went and they told me I could start.

Braveheart is a company that hires trainees, a full time job. As well as that it helps you with life and it helps you to grow, learn new skills and participate in life.

We got put through our SVQs level 3 in professional cookery. Stuff as basic as how to cut a chicken correctly, how to cut vegetables properly, how to use a knife safely and being able to make deserts too.

There are two parts Street and Arrow, you have the prep kitchen in Dalmarnock in the legacy hub. We cater in there, do a lot of events from there and we have a nursery in there that we feed also.

We also have the food truck in Partick where we serve fresh street food.

You have to learn how to deal with customers and with money. We also have to get their our health & safety and food hygiene certificates. They also offer more training if you want to go on further courses.

I liked cooking but I prefer dealing with customers, handling the money and taking control of the till.

It was difficult but the customer is always right! So you just have to smile and be polite and I don’t really find that hard.

It gave me confidence in my life and structure. For so many years in my life I had no structure. I didn’t have a job and I didn’t have anything to get up for in the morning. So it gave me that structure and daily routine.

It is a struggle at first but as your confidence grows it just gets so much easier. I enjoy getting up and having stuff to do.

You get full pay so you are able to pay your bills like rent and council tax and spend money on yourself like clothes, whatever.

Work is difficult sometimes but Braveheart have specially trained people that come in you can speak to about struggles in your life. We also have mentors as well that you can rely on. It is just brilliant. The training programme was amazing. I still pop in every now and again so I get to see the trainees so I know where they have been.

Now I am a full time member of senior staff at Braveheart as an admin assistant. When I was a trainee I would do 1 day a week doing admin so I was learning a lot of staff all the time. I am now doing my level 3 SVQ in business admin which I do while I am working.

I celebrated a year in January clean and sober. I haven’t touched anything for about nearly 18 months now. A lot of that is to do with having a full time job and having stability in my life. Completing Street and Arrow and then graduating. I have never stuck a year in a job in my life so that is a big achievement for me.

If people are wanting to change it isn’t just about getting a job, it is about getting support as well. We all know we have rubbish days now and again.  That staff and the mentors are there to help now and again.

I would say to anyone in fact they are looking for people now!

We also do the Edinburgh Tattoo and they take 15 guys away. They go and work with the army to help set up the Tattoo. They get taken away for a month on full pay.

I know other people that have hooked up with Braveheart and they have guided them into other jobs. If they are not interested in working in a kitchen they have given them other avenues to go through.

From all the trainees last year every one of us got a job.”