Zoe’s story: planning for the future in a pandemic

Zoe’s story: planning for the future in a pandemic

young woman with long dark blonde hair and bracesWith the pandemic derailing so many people’s plans for the future, we thought we’d share one of our recent Looking Forward success stories!

Zoe reached out to us earlier this year for some support with her next steps. Hear about what the experience was like for her, and where it’s led:

Zoe joined the Looking Forward programme in June 2020, with the aspiration to be a teaching assistant – she loves working with children and wants to make a difference to them. In just a few months and some hard work, she is now on well her way to achieving her dream.

In the middle of a pandemic, finding a job and thinking about next steps after education felt quite daunting. With the usual face to face sessions with Looking Forward on hold, we offered support through video meetings instead.

Zoe had found a teaching assistant course, but a requirement of the course was that she needed to have a work placement in a school. Despite schools being closed due to Covid-19, this didn’t faze her and she joined the Looking Forward programme to help her prepare for this next big step.

“I didn’t want to do it at first and so Mum did it with me,” Zoe told us. “It was like talking to someone I already knew. It made the experience stress free. There was no need to be worried, Amy put me at ease straight away. She listened to me and offered me simple advice.”

It was like talking to someone I already knew. It made the experience stress free.

After getting to know each other, the first thing we needed to do was work with Zoe to create a professional CV that she could use to send to schools and to apply for work. Zoe commented, “Looking Forward helped me to see that I had some really useful skills which she could include in the CV, it also looked really modern and professional.”

With her new CV ready and raring to go, Zoe didn’t waste any time and started applying for support roles in schools that we had looked at during our sessions. Although Zoe didn’t get an interview for the first job she applied for, she kept going and said, “the most useful piece of advice I received was to think positive and don’t be put off if you don’t get an interview straight away. You can just keep applying and know you are brilliant and something will suit you.”

The most useful piece of advice I received was to think positive and don’t be put off if you don’t get an interview straight away.

She was right, it wasn’t long until the perfect opportunity came up: Zoe is now working as a midday supervisor assistant and has a volunteer role with local schools!

This gives her the opportunity to put into practice all the new skills she is learning with her course, and at the same time earn money doing something she loves. When she completes the course, she will be ready to apply for teaching assistant jobs.

We’re so proud of Zoe for all her hard work, and are glad we could give her the support she needed to take the next step on her journey.


Interested in getting support from our Looking Forward career support programme for young people aged 14 to 25 with SEND?

phoneEmail amy@amazesussex.org.uk

or call/text 07483 111 659.

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