Sylvia moved toa Women’s Aid Refuge in April 2016 having been married for around 41 years. When she got there she said she “had no confidence and was fr ightened but was pleased to finally be somewhere she could feel safe”. During her marriage she had supported her husband’s IT business but this meant she had no formal qualifications and no work experience outside of this. Sylvia received fantastic support from Women’s Aid including a referral from them onto the Active Inclusion Project in August 2016.

Whilst being supported by DVSC’s Active Inclusion Support Worker Sylvia took part in a range of courses including Mental Health Awareness and Budget Maximisation. The project also supported her in attending a variety of course at the Hwb in Denbigh including a Confidence building course, Beginners Computers, Sociology and Criminology – not bad for a lady who believed she couldn’t do much! Sylvia was then supported in finding a volunteering placement at St Kentigern’s Hospice shop in Ruthin where she now volunteers 3 days a week and with that outcome she left the Active Inclusion project – but not the DVSC family.

The ‘Open Doors Digital Inclusion Club’ was a spin off from the Active Inclusion project as a way for participants to gain skills and support whilst looking for work. This club is supported by Wayne and Lavinia – another 2 Active Inclusion beneficiaries. Sylvia continued to attend Open Doors, keeping us up to date on what she is doing and often brightening up our Friday afternoons.

In June 2017, following on from an ESA assessment Sylvia moved onto receiving Job Seekers Allowance and started to formally job-hunt. This is a daunting process for anyone but particularly if you have low IT skills as so much is online these days and this was the exact thing Open Doors was set up to help support. Wayne and Lavinia worked with Sylvia helping her to set up and navigate her Universal Jobmatch account; set up an email account; create a CV; carry out online Job Hunts and apply for work. We were so pleased at the start of September when she received an invitation to interview for a Cleaning Role in Ruthin. The Open Doors volunteers supported her by running some interview role-plays. Wayne makes quite a tough interviewer it seems! We are so pleased to now be able to formally congratulate Sylvia for the brilliant achievement of getting the job.

When we asked her how she felt now having been offered her first Sylvia replied “I feel marvellous, like someone feels I’m work something. I couldn’t have done this without the support of the Active Inclusion team and Wayne and Lavinia at Open Doors”

Emma Gray, Volunteering and Wellbeing Development –Active Inclusion Lead said “We are so happy for Sylvia. She has been a joy to work with and capable of so much more than she realises – hopefully this will help her see what we already know. Well done Sylvia; we always thought you were worthy. Thank you for our cards.”

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