MEET THE PEOPLE: CAMERON DODOO
Seven weeks ago, I started my 12-week internship at Caritas Anchor House, supporting residents to access education, training and employment (ETE) opportunities.
I walked into the role not knowing the challenges our residents faced on a daily basis, but I soon realised that many residents lack some basic skills that were needed to successfully get back into employment which emphasises the need for actual training and education.
We work with external providers to offer access to educational opportunities for residents, such as Elatt learning community, who provide ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes to those who struggle with their English. This is a fantastic opportunity as it helps residents to gain the necessary skills to communicate well with employers and colleagues.
I went to a CV building workshop off-site in order to give myself the knowledge to effectively work with residents to present their skills and experiences in the best way to a potential employer, and have since began delivering CV workshops with our residents. It’s early days, but so far I have worked with two residents on this to help to enhance the prospect of them getting into employment, and I’d pleased to say that one of those residents have received an invitation to an interview for a retail job.
I will shortly begin offering basic interview skills practise, which aims to increase residents’ confidence at interview stage, and prepare themselves for the types of questions they may be asked. We’ll tailor this to particular industries to ensure it’s as helpful as possible for our residents. I piloted a session with a resident recently, and they fed back that it had had a really positive impact on their confidence, and so it’s definitely something I’m planning to do much more of.
We’re also pleased to be able to collaborate with external organisations to present job openings to residents, including the country’s largest housing association and roles in supermarket chains. I’ve supported one of our residents to apply for a role, and he’s awaiting the outcome for his application.
While my role helps support residents to take on opportunities to improve their employability and confidence, I am benefitting hugely from his internship too. I get real satisfaction from knowing I am helping to create change for people who have experienced homelessness, and I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to shape the role to ensure we’re offering the best opportunities to residents. In turn, it’s strengthened my own skills, such as interpersonal, organisation and communication skills, and I’ve certainly picked up some straits of a good job coach. I’m enjoying my role, and know there are exciting things to come from Caritas Anchor House’s ETE department.
Ultimately, I will continue to present more ETE opportunities to our residents and take on the role of as internal job coach which will inevitably enhance our residents’ confidence and chances of employment. There are exciting things to come from Caritas Anchor House’s ETE offering.
Thank you to Cameron for sharing his internship experience. Caritas Anchor House works with the University of Essex’s Internship Scheme. However, we love to hear from anyone who is interested in volunteering with us! If you are interested, please get in touch at email@example.com.