A MUM-OF-FOUR from Shipston is one of 700 to enter the world of work thanks to support from a Coventry and Warwickshire scheme.
Donna Evans has secured her first job after receiving support from staff at Accelerate, a National Lottery funded programme helping people gain employment.
The 31-year-old now works as a catering assistant at Shipston High School after being helped with low self-esteem, lack of confidence and no previous experience of job hunting, which she said was holding her back.
Nicola, who is now also taking qualifications in food hygiene, said: “I’m really enjoying being at work for the first time and have gained lots of new skills and already met some great work colleagues.
“I needed a job that would fit around looking after my children so when the opportunity to work at the school came up I jumped at it. It was originally on a trial basis as a replacement for someone, but things have gone really well and I’ve now been given the permanent job.
“The only thing that took a bit of time getting used to was working at a place where my son goes to school and serving him and his friends’ meals. I think we’re both ‘ok’ with it now.”
The £3 million Accelerate project has helped hundreds of people across the area find new jobs in the year it has been running.
Some of those who have been supported are disabled, and many have even gone on to launch their own businesses.
Leah Hutchby from the scheme supported Donna in finding her new job.
She said: “To go from never having a job to securing part-time employment in a few months is a fantastic achievement and Donna has shown great courage to make it happen.
“The job will help her get more skills and boost her confidence, not to mention still allowing her to look after her children.”
Access to the Accelerate programme is available through the job centre.