15 March

Helping customers to navigate their way to their new lives

One of our customers has spoken about how taking part in a course to boost her own understanding of her value in the world of work has changed her life
Navigate My Way

One of our customers has spoken candidly about how taking part in a course to boost her own understanding of her value in the world of work has changed her life. 

Funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency as part of Plymouth City Council’s commitment to adult and community we support customers to develop their confidence to ensure they make the most of the natural skills and talents they have and understand their value in the world of work.

For one customer, the Navigate My Way course has transformed her whole outlook on life. 

‘G’ from Devon, described herself as depressed, overweight, hating her looks, hopeless and stuck as a carer, part-time worker and living a life that she never wanted or expected to be in.

At 58, she thought it was too late to make changes, that she wouldn’t have the energy and didn’t know where to begin.

Then she spotted the advert for ‘Navigate My Way’, asked for more information and if she would qualify.

G said: “It turned out to be life changing. Firstly, it came at just the right time, as we went into lockdown. I had something positive to focus on just when I needed it most. 

“I don’t think I would have got through without it. There’s one-to-one support, what a gift. The first thing my supporter said to me was ‘This is time for you’. 

“No one had said that to me for a very long time and it took some getting used to. As a carer, employee and partner I was used to putting everyone else first, no matter what it was doing to me and my wellbeing.

“My mentor, trainer, life coach and all round angel from LiveWest was brilliant. With regular support, lots of encouragement I never felt overwhelmed or hopeless. And it all fitted round my current roles and responsibilities.

“The course was well paced and structured, helping you find your own strengths and how to appreciate them. It wasn’t about having to make huge changes, but just to see your current situation as a starting point, not as a dead end. And to recognise for yourself where it could lead to.

“We went through a whole programme of activities, a mix of online, and over the phone, whatever suits you best. It is designed to help you see your own worth and abilities, and to make the most of who and where you are for now, as well as for the future.

“The course looks at what you already have to offer as an employee and helps you see your potential for new directions. Maybe there is somewhere you’ve always wanted to work or something you’ve always wanted to do. 

“The course helps you find out what skills you will need to help you get there and to identify which ones you already have. Suddenly the journey to where you want to be is halfway started and you didn’t even realise It.

“It also looks at your life outside of work, as a person in your own right, worthy of respect, deserving of fun and happiness, healthy and confident. So that you get the right work/life balance for you.

“It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of course, it won’t tell you what to do, but it will get you to lots of useful resources to help you move forward to where you want to be.

“I wanted to be more confident with online and internet skills, and was directed to a great set of short training videos that were fun and easy and I could do whenever I had a spare moment. And I wanted to be fitter, so we looked at online exercise classes that would fit with lockdown and family life.

“It pointed me in the direction of my happy place. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m definitely on the right road now.”

Yvonne Harding, our Community Training and Employment Development Worker said: “We wanted to build our customers confidence and provide an environment where they identify for themselves their true potential and value. We recognise its hard to know where to start when you feel you are starting from zero.

Navigate My Way supports customers in identifying what they have to give, to realise they are not at zero, their life experience and work/school life all equip them with many new skills. Once they see for themselves how unique they are their confidence grows and they realise they do have a future.

“Where we identify within Navigate My Way the need to develop online skills, I am able to support participants to access our digital skills OpenReach project, enabling individuals to access a range of online skills in problem solving, transacting, communicating, creating and managing our information so they can experience the opportunities offered by access to limitless information. Providing a holistic approach to further develop their skills.” 

All learners will complete our COMPASS, a digital evidence-based tool for supporting an individual’s journey; measuring progress over a period of time. 

COMPASS assesses strengths against the following areas; housing, health, social skills, personal development, finances, employability and learning. COMPASS can then be used by individuals to set key goals for themselves, which we can support individuals to achieve.

We are currently running two programmes which are available to anyone located within a PL Postcode. The two programmes are called Navigate My Way and Find Your North Star.  

Navigate My Way which helps to identify natural skills and talents, transferable skills and where this fits into different job roles, decide on an area of work, and set goals to measure progress into a chosen job role or training.

Find Your North Star supports understanding of what makes someone unique, helps identify what motivates them and what they are passionate about, explores the types of work that excite them and develop an understanding of how their past shapes them and helps to builds their confidence to plan a positive future.

Jenny Endean, our Young Persons Service Development Manager said: “Being able to deliver opportunities for adult learners in or out of work that develops skills and attitudes that improve employability and enhance careers progression has made a huge difference in people’s lives and one we are really proud of. 

When we first talk with customers, we are often met with ‘I can’t believe you offer this’ as many see us as their landlord and nothing else. For us it is about investing in our customers, delivering tailored support and programmes that meet their needs, strengths and aspirations. This is often the first step on their career journey. We work closely with our partners in Plymouth, all delivering a range of courses that enable a range of progression and employability routes for our customers.”

To find out more about Navigate My Way or Find Your North Star please contact Yvonne Harding by emailing yvonne.harding@livewest.co.uk.

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