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Job group success has led to volunteer demand
BRIDPORT’S job club is struggling under the weight of its own success and needs more help.
Barbara Richardson started the club nearly a year ago and it has been so well used that more volunteers are needed to cope with increasing demand.
Mrs Richardson said: “We are making a difference to increasing numbers of people every week and we are proud of what we do.
“We’d be delighted if we could have more people to help us help them.”
There are five volunteers – not all regular – and ideally Mrs Richardson would like 20 so they could work on a rota system.
She added: “Now the Job Centre has cottoned on to us they are sending us people in droves.
“We have 10 or 12 people a week and we are struggling.
“We are overwhelmed by our own success.”
And part of the reason for that, she said, was the club provides a pleasant surprise to the people it helps.
She said: “We take an interest in people rather than filling in forms.
“Although we assist with the technical side, writing CVs, letters and advice on how to get a job, I think our distinguishing feature is that we take an interest, we have the human face of the job search, which is a very lonely place to be.
“People go out with a smile on their faces and I am really proud of that.”
Mrs Richardson said she was depressed by the level of need in Bridport, particularly from young people.
“We have a particular mission to help young people who don’t have the streetwise knowledge to enable them to network. People employ people, not CVs.
“It is all about self confidence and when someone takes an interest in you, you become confident.”
Martin Paley manager of Bridport Citizens’ Advice Bureau, said the job club offered a very necessary service in the town but, such was the need for support, the bureau hasn’t felt any less pressure on its services.
He said: “But anything that helps is a good thing. I think it is a brilliant idea.
“It is something that every community should have.
“It provides a complementary service to ours.”
And the fact that people will get help to manage the new welfare payment, which will be paid monthly instead of fortnightly, with housing benefits going direct to tenants, can only help, he said.
Anyone who can help with the job club can ring Mrs Richardson on 07949 011 203.