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Meet Deborah O’Brien, Community Employment Specialist and Terri-Louise Lawson, Personal Assistant

21 May 2018

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Today I joined Deborah O’Brien, Our Community Employment Specialist and Terri-Louise Lawson, Deborah’s Personal Assistant, on their Day in the Life feature.

This morning Deborah and Terri have spent the morning doing CV profiling and updating, before getting their paperwork ready for the afternoon.

After lunch they headed down to Hendon Food Bank with their J2E job club members, to speak to the volunteers there about opportunities, and to hear other volunteer’s stories.

After Hendon, they spend an hour or so conducting 3 minute snapshot interviews, and filling in progress reports with their J2E job club learners, to see how they are finding the journey so far.

Today Deborah had arranged for a special guest speaker to talk at job club. Rob, a civil servant, came in to talk to the job club about how his disabilities don’t affect his ability to work. Rob suffered from Neuroblastoma as a child, and as a result is registered blind and deaf. Rob spoke to the J2E group about how he overcomes his disabilities, and how he has adapted to an excellent full time career as a civil servant.

Meet Deborah

Full name and job title; Deborah O’brien – Community Employment Specialist

Time at Springboard? 1 year

Typical Day? I always set my alarm for 5:20am, get up and put my gym clothes on. I have gym equipment in my house so usually go on the treadmill for about 40 mins before work to wake myself up. Get dressed for work and leave the house at 7:30am to get in to work on time. Arrive at Springboard at about 8:10am every morning. First thing I do is have a cup of coffee.

Typical day generally starts with making plans for the days were I’ll type up an action list which I’ll follow throughout the day. My day usually involves developing content for the J2E programme, working with the participants on my course to find training opportunities, work placements/work experience, voluntary work and or employment.

The aim of my role is to move people closer to or into employment.

Job Role? I work with disabled people and people with health conditions. The overall aim of my job is to move the participants on my course closer to or into employment.

The most favourite thing about my role is seeing how some of the participants progress on the course. It’s amazing to see how their confidence grows throughout the 12 weeks.

I always find it difficult to see the groups come to an end. It’s hard to say goodbye to the participants sometimes as strong bonds are usually created within the groups.

Meet Terri

Full name and job title: Terri-Louise Lawson – Personal Assistant

Time at Springboard: 11 months

Typical Day: Get up at 4:45am, tidy the house, put a wash in, come to work have a coffee and start the day

Job Role: My job role is supporting Deborah with her daily duties as a Community Employment Specialist, I also help out with the Job Hubs and Job Clubs supporting Deborah in anything required.

Favourite thing about your role: My favourite part of the job is seeing the participants progress and them coming out of their shells into their own personality’s, it is amazing to watch their strengths getting stronger and achieving goals either a job/training course or even just been able to go out on the own.

Worst thing about your role: It’s sad to see the groups leave when you have formed good bonds with them.

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