Tag Archives: opportunities

Lauras work placement experience

26 Nov

Over the past 8 weeks we have had our work placement Laura with us in the office. On her last day we caught up with her for a quick chat to see how she found it…

 

Tell us a little about yourself

I have recently finished studying Forensic Science at Exeter College. I am currently taking a year out from Education to gain experience and work before (hopefully) going to University next September. When I’m not studying or working I enjoy geocaching and attend a local archery club.

If you want to know what Geocaching is check out the link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching

Why did you decide to do a work placement?

I decided to do a work placement so that I could gain experience in a work environment to aid me in future job applications and with University. It’s a great chance to upgrade and improve on existing abilities which I wanted to do with my ICT and administrative skills.

What attracted you to Opportunity Plus?

I’m a very compassionate person so I liked the idea of working with other people and helping them into work or develop ideas into self-employment. I was also attracted to the fact it wasn’t a large overwhelming company and had a small close team.

Is there anything you have enjoyed about the placement?

Opportunity Day is a group session run for job seekers and I was invited to attend one to assist with the activities. It was definitely out of my comfort zone but actually when I was there I really enjoyed myself. It was great to be in a helpful environment and be helping others out. I also enjoyed organising the files in to an order as I like things to be organised!

What have you least enjoyed?

As the office is based centrally in town it can be a bit of a nightmare to drive there and park but as the Job Centre paid for my travel I can’t really complain. So over all it’s all been enjoyable!

What have your main tasks been?

I’ve had a variety of tasks during my time at Opportunity Plus. Often I was required to do job searches for customers and find appropriate positions for their needs. I would also research topics and collect data. I even found myself washing masks that had been used for a face painting activity, and buying items to practice furniture restoration. I wrote quiz questions and created a CV for an employability task. I was also given time to job search for myself and support with applications and interviews.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I really enjoyed my work experience here and everyone was really nice!

She will be joining us in the future as a volunteer and as I am writing this Laura is at an interview for her ideal job – Good Luck Laura! 

Volunteers’ Week

30 May

Next week is the 30th annual Volunteers’ Week, a chance to thank all of the volunteers who work so hard to help their local communities.

Volunteering is a great way to gain new skills, build your confidence, make friends, and “give something back”.  Read our blog post on volunteering here.  There are a huge range of opportunities to volunteer, and it can be very fulfilling, so why not give it a go.  Check out www.do-it.org.uk to search for opportunities near you, or visit your local community centre to see if you can help out.

Volunteering in Health is a Teignbridge charity who are always looking for volunteers, and their range of opportunities are available for as little as one hour a week – driving, befriending, admin, helping out at fundraising events.  Find out more here or call 01626 774484.

Education and Training

20 May

Are you a hairdresser? A holistic therapist? An artist? Have you got a skill you could teach to others?

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This four day course serves as an introductory teaching qualification enabling learners to take their first step into adult education. It’s a very participatory and interactive course, and you will gain confidence in a variety of group activities, as well as finding out about inclusive learning, planning sessions and assessment.

“It’s one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve ever attended – really well organised and delivered.”

– JR, (a recent learner) 

Benefits of the course:

– Increase career opportunities
– Expand your current services
– Increase confidence and motivation
– Run your own workshops
– Self-employment opportunities

Our next course is running on the 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th of June in our Newton Abbot Training Centre. For more information or to book a place please email us at info@opsw.co.uk or call 0800 043 2440.

Payment can be made securely by BACS or debit/credit card.

Sheila Robb House,
Oak Place,
Lower Queen Street,
Newton Abbot,
Devon
TQ12 2EX

10% off with this code: OPSWJN14

Please note: You may be eligible for funding if you are in receipt of a work related benefit.

Ann Kinsey

Ann has a wealth of experience in the welfare to work sector, supporting people to find work or self-employment. Being part of a very successful employment-support team in Devon, she then went to the Thames Valley area to assist in the start-up of the Work Programme.

Ann has enjoyed her work tutoring young people, as well as her extensive voluntary contribution including running village football teams, arranging and raising funds for a tour of America, enabling young people to gain confidence, self-esteem and many new skills. She has also owned and managed a very successful Pub and Restaurant business in mid Devon. 

More recently she has worked for Exeter College as a programme coordinator and associate lecturer, delivering sessions in Functional Skills to young people, and Employability skills to adults.

“I really enjoy delivering the Education and Training Award course. There is so much variety and I get to meet some great people.”

Education and Training

6 Apr

IMG_8283
This four day course replaces the former PTLLS award and serves as an introductory teaching qualification enabling learners to develop knowledge and skills in Teaching and Learning. It is very participatory and interactive, and you will gain confidence in addressing groups of people over the 4 days, as well as finding out about inclusive learning, planning sessions and assessment.

“It’s one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve ever attended – really well organised and delivered.”

– JR, (a recent learner) 

Skills learned:

– First steps into Adult tutoring
– Increased career opportunities.
– Expanded services to offer.
– Experienced at planning and delivering teaching sessions.
– Helpful tips/information.

Opportunity Plus UK, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2EX
Special Offer Price: £230 (usually £350)
Payment can be made securely by debit/credit card, cheque, or cash by calling into our Teignbridge office. See below for contact  details.

How to Register: Email us at info@opsw.co.uk or call 0800 043 2440 to book your place.

Ann Kinsey

1 Ann
Ann has a wealth of experience in the welfare to work sector, supporting people to find work or self-employment. Being part of a very successful employment-support team in Devon, she then went to the Thames Valley area to assist in the start-up of the Work Programme.

Ann has enjoyed her work tutoring young people, as well as her extensive voluntary contribution including running village football teams, arranging and raising funds for a tour of America, enabling young people to gain confidence, self-esteem and many new skills. She has also owned and managed a very successful Pub and Restaurant business in mid Devon. 

More recently she has worked for Exeter College as a programme coordinator and associate lecturer, delivering sessions in Functional Skills to young people, and Employability skills to adults.

“I really enjoy delivering the Education and Training Award course. There is so much variety and I get to meet some great people.”

Bye Bye Chloe

10 Mar

After 18 months at Opportunity Plus South West, I am moving on to pastures new.  Back in October, I attended an Opening Event at the new offices for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Teignbridge, where I met Tina Graham from Volunteering in Health.  I found out more about the charity and their great work, and when a job vacancy came up in February I couldn’t resist the chance to become part of the team.  I will be starting on Monday 17th March and my new role will be Volunteer Coordinator, and I will also be coordinating the charity’s new Home Help Service.

I will be looking to recruit new volunteers in the Teignbridge area, to befriend elderly people, and drive people to hospital appointments.  There will also be opportunities for people looking to gain administration skills or help out with events and fundraising – so please give me a call on 01626 774484 if you are interested in volunteering.

But it’s not just volunteers I’m after, there will also be opportunities for people who want to become self employed cleaners or handymen, with the backing of Volunteering in Health.  Please call 01626 774484 for more information.  Don’t forget Opportunity Plus can help you to get set up too – just call 0800 043 2440.

I’m sad to leave Opportunity Plus, but looking forward to getting started on a new project.

Flexible Learning – Make the Most of Distance Learning.

23 Feb

Distance learning allows you to study at your own pace and when it is convenient to you, meaning you can fit it around work or family commitments. However, it can take time to get to grips with learning at home and by yourself. These top tips will ensure you make the most of your distance learning experience.

1) Try one of our Work Bites. These short, simple courses give you a basic introduction to distance learning, and give you the opportunity to see if you are suited to this style of learning before committing to a more in-depth course.

2) Use the support available to you. Don’t struggle by yourself, use support groups and stay in touch with your tutor if you are finding the work too much or need any additional support. Try to find a friend who is also doing some distance learning and study together.

3) Create a study area for yourself. Get everything you need ready and remove anything that’s not related to your course and could cause a distraction.

4) Set yourself targets and reward yourself when you meet them. It might just be treating yourself to a cup of tea once you’ve finished a difficult question, or it could be booking a meal at your favourite restaurant after you’ve completed a tricky assignment.

5) Create a study planner – set yourself proper times to study (including breaks) and give yourself specific, achievable tasks to do each time you study.

The Hub Yeovil

18 Mar

Last month we went to have a look around The Hub Yeovil, a community centre in Yeovil.  We absolutely loved it there, a really inspirational, welcoming and friendly community centre.

The Hub Yeovil was set up in November 2010 by Sophie Mars and Clive Tuck.  It is a community centre for people with learning difficulties.  As well as being a great place for socialising and learning life skills, trainees learn new practical skills such as car valeting, growing plants, soap making and crafts.  A lot of the crafts use recycled products, which they obtain from the Yeovil Scrapstore, such as old clothes, magazines, books, newspapers, furniture.

Tie Dye

Aquaponics

Trainees use their new skills to create micro-enterprises, giving them all round skills to enable them to start their own businesses in the future, as well as giving them practical experience which will improve their employability.  The extra income that these micro-businesses bring in helps to keep the The Hub Yeovil a sustainable project.

Bags

Notice Boards

If you are looking for an ethical gift for someone, take a look at their lovely soaps which can be purchased through their website.

Soaps

Soaps and Bath Salts

They have exciting plans in the pipeline to open a shop selling the products that trainees have made, and are also looking for other ethically minded products to sell from the shop.

Show your support for this great project by liking their new Facebook page.