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Severnside South, Bewdley with fusion logo ontop

Homes At The Heart - Chantal's Story

Chantal is a tenant of The Community Housing Group and was referred to Building Better Opportunities back in April 2018. At the time, Chantal was feeling frustrated about her future and lacking in motivation after applying for numerous jobs, but not having any luck.

After signing up to the Building Better Opportunities programme, Chantal worked closely with her Job Coach, Laura to help identify her skills and improve her self-esteem and confidence. Chantal knew that she wanted to work in the care sector after caring for her grandparents. Laura helped Chantal to freshen up her CV and worked together with her on making applications, interview techniques and very importantly, encouraged her to keep on going and not to give up.
Many more applications and interviews later; Chantal was offered a job at a local care home for 36 hours a week. Chantal was over the moon with this offer and couldn’t wait to get started!

2 Years Later

Laura recently caught up with Chantal to see how she was getting on and how things were 2 years later; particularly considering the pandemic. We know that tenants will be wondering now if it’s even worth getting help towards employment at this time. We hope Chantal’s story shows that it absolutely is worth it!

Chantal worked at the care home mentioned above until April of this year. During lockdown, she struggled hugely with being out of a work routine and felt lost with no reason to get up in the morning.
Because of this, she was determined to get back to work as soon as possible. Chantal says:

“Being in work gives me something to get up for each day. I feel like I’ve found my purpose in life and I love helping people.”

Using the skills gained whilst working with her Job Coach and with renewed confidence having had 2 years experience in a care role, Chantal independently found a new job in August of this year and is back doing what she loves….looking after people.

So what has work life been like since returning to work mid Covid?

Chantal says it has been difficult, especially in her role where it’s not easy to remain socially distanced. She is doing 12 hour shifts and is unable to take breaks off site due to the strict rules. Also, visitors aren’t allowed unless booked in and this has been hard for the residents she looks after.

Despite all of these difficulties, Chantal is over the moon to be back in employment and in a routine. Financially things are hard having had a few months off work, however being back in employment gives Chantal many more options going forward than being out of work would have. 

Building Better Opportunities


We are super proud of Chantal and all that she has achieved. The BBO programme isn’t just about a quick success in getting employed! As you can see from Chantal’s story, work life doesn’t always go to plan, but the confidence and self-esteem gained whilst on the programme is with people for life. Chantal didn’t want to go back to how things were before BBO and we know that the strong work ethic and belief in herself she now has will keep her moving forward. Giving people the tools to overcome their barriers and grow independently in their lives is absolutely what we love and Chantal is a shining example.

Our Building Better Opportunities programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery Community Fund designed to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion throughout Worcestershire.

If you or anyone you know would benefit from the support of a dedicated Job Coach who will work with you to build on your own strengths and abilities to gain the confidence and skills to move into work please get in touch, call 01562 733133, email fusion@vestia.org.uk or visit the Fusion website to find out more.


Published - 28 Sep 2020