Prior to commencing the Volunteer Plus programme, Stephen was struggling with low self-esteem and confidence issues, saying he was not very satisfied with his life due to ìhis weight and unemployment issuesî. He qualified this by explaining that he is a ìvery nervous personî and keeps everything close to him i.e. he described himself as being very shy and would ìfind it difficult to do tasks on (his) own because I don’t want to mess things up for me or the groupî. He found engaging with others difficult, or trying new tasks. This was a huge barrier for Stephen in moving forward with his life and eventually gaining employment.
On commencing the Volunteer Plus programme, Stephen set some goals and learning aims for his time on the programme.
1) To learn some plastering
2) To update his CV with relevant experience and skills
3) To feel fitter by the end of the programme and be more active
4) To gain experience of interview techniques and increase his confidence
By the end of the programme, Stephen had achieved all his learning aims and goals. During his end-of-programme evaluation, he rated Threeways ìoutstandingî in every area. He said he would make ìsignificantî use of his new skills, and he would take up further learning following the programme. In his words:
I have noticed I am happier and more confident in myself in what employment I hope to gain. I am extremely happy with the skills I have gained, and the people I have met. The only problem with the course is it is too short!