TimeBank Hull & East Riding is launching a programme of support for people who have lost work, or are worried they may be about to, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The programme, Future Shift, will include group support sessions covering a range of topics relevant to redundancy including staying well, working through anxiety and managing finances. In addition, life coaches and mentors will provide tailored one-to-one support around visioning and goal setting, as well as practical help with CVs, honing interview skills and the foundations of starting a small business.
This programme is different from traditional employability or business incubation programmes because it focuses on mutual aid – how people can help each other achieve goals through sharing knowledge, support, spaces and equipment to kickstart ideas and practical action. Current projects include a cycle co-op and businesses focussed on food. The ethos is that ‘we are the people we need’, and members and mentors will work alongside people to look at options and connections which could help them get started.
This support has been made possible through the European Structural and Investment Funds’ Community Led Local Development programme.
Adele Clough, life coach and employment mentor at the TimeBank, said: “Although losing work can feel incredibly frightening, it is possible to reframe the experience and make it into one of the most freeing times in your life. COVID-19 has shaken up all of the assumptions we make around what our social and work lives should look like. Never before in our lifetimes have we been presented with such an opportunity to look again at our choices and crucially, to change our minds, to grow and develop, to make sure we are doing jobs which fulfill us, which utilise our skill sets, and which enable us to live the kinds of lives we want to have with our families. We’re really excited about journeying alongside people as they create the futures they want for themselves. We’re also interested in hearing from people who have been through redundancy themselves and would like to offer their time to support others.”
Catherine Vulliamy, who runs Hull micro bakery Conquest of Bread, said: “I am working with projects operated by TimeBank Hull & East Riding to look at ways in which the Conquest of Bread can extend its support for its community as the business continues to slowly grow. My engagements with the TimeBank are so productive and generative and I have received so much invaluable support and inspiration from them, so I’m hopeful of being able to meet those challenges and to continue to find new ways to give to my community and my city.”
Thanks to a TimeBank member led initiative, refurbishing donated laptops, the project is able to offer a limited number of laptops for project participants to use to get online, with the option to keep if they complete the programme.
One current participant said: “I joined the TimeBank looking to meet new people and prepare for returning to work. At the time I joined the Future Shift programme, I didn’t have a laptop or an email account, and this was holding me back from being able to do what I wanted to do. Through the TimeBank, I have been able to receive a refurbished laptop, which I am now using to complete online courses and will also be able to use to write my CV and apply for jobs. I’m really grateful for the support I’ve had so far and I’m looking forward to being able to contribute as well through sharing my skills with other members.”
The programme launches on Tuesday 18th August. Eligibility criteria apply and places are limited, so people are encouraged to express interest early by filling in a simple form: https://forms.gle/YKpM3EjxhpC871bN6 or calling 01482 699041 for more details.
[Holly Walton – Timebank Hull and East Riding]