The purpose of case studies is to provide useful learning for other projects and to encourage individuals and businesses to access the services available.
Case study 1 - Mr A
Before Mr A found the DP-EVH, he was unemployed after having been made redundant after only 7 months employed as a Dispatch Manager. He felt undervalued at work due to his lack of IT skills and no one was willing to show Mr A how to remedy this.
Mr A's profession was Engineer Plating, but a personal recurring problem with an arm injury due to wear and tear led him into thinking about a change of career direction.
His biggest barrier was his lack of computer skills because previous jobs needed no computer knowledge. It was Careers in Dewsbury who signposted Mr A to The DP-EVH.
Once at the DP-EVH Mr A's confidence to apply his skills and experience to other types of work was discovered. He started on a basic computer course and then asked to facilitate an Open Access class.
Two tutors became role models to Mr A and led him in a ‘good way’. Avenues were opened as Mr A began to spend nearly every day at The DP-EVH. He began to offer support in nearly all the classes.
Mr A went on to take a level 3 teaching qualification 7302. He started a level 3 in Maths at Wakefield but felt frustrated by the administration there.
He is now at Bradford College where he brushed up his Level 3 in Numeracy and is now taking a Level 5 Numeracy Diploma and Cert Ed. This is due to finish in 2011. However he does feel as though he wasted a lot of time due to miscommunication.
On a personal level Mr A's frustration and anger has been channelled and he recently achieved a Grade 1 in his class observation.
Mr A's next steps are to complete his Level 5 and then see what life offers, live abroad, live at the coast. In Mr A's own words The DP-EVH has made him a better person.
He enjoys teaching over 18’s as there is less structure and would have no preference as to whether to teach disadvantaged/disabled or mainstream students but Mathematics is his key defining skill.
Case study 2 - Mrs R
Mrs R came to The DP-EVH as a learner; she wanted to study I.T. as she had no skills and wanted something different. She wanted to get out of the house due to her arthritis and the mental effect this was having on her. Due to new medication she began to feel better. It was the local jobcentre who signposted her.
Lack of confidence was Mrs R's biggest barrier, plus as she says being ashamed and feeling old.
Mrs R started at The DP-EVH with no qualifications having left school at 15 after her dad who looked after her died.
It has been role models from The DP-EVH and support from her family that has inspired and motivated Mrs R. The need to help her daughter is also a major motivation in her life.
The encouragement from The DP-EVH has given her a purpose to do and something to do with responsibility.
The PTTLS course which Mrs R completed and passed successfully has given her more stability, more opportunity and feeling personally that she has achieved something of worth.
She now delivers two classes at Skelmanthorpe library for The DP-EVH, this is something she would never have dreamt of before.
Mrs R is now taking Literacy and Numeracy Level 2 courses and wants a career in teaching and is intent on taking her DTTLS next, specialising in IT.
Case study 3 - Mr D
Originally Mr D's I.T. skills were that he had used a computer occasionally for basic tasks with the help of others. He has now progressed and worked his way through various courses. He is currently taking CLAiT Plus.
He had worked from 1998 to 2008 at Argos in Dewsbury in a warehouse, until he strained his back. Mr D was told he would have to follow a course of pain management which would mean retraining.
With this in mind he joined Worklink who in turn referred him to The DP-EVH.
Mr D has been unemployed since 2008 and to compound issues he was diagnosed with hearing difficulties. He has 60% hearing in his left ear and 40% hearing in his right and outside he is unable to hear a conversation.
Coupled with this relatively new disability Mr D has been suffering from depression. He is presently awaiting an appointment with a psychiatrist and to be allocated a C.P.N. All these health issues are new to Mr D who is trying to manage them alongside his retraining.
Within Mr D's retraining and as his disabilities have developed he has been given the opportunity to experiment with different study techniques.
For Mr D's back problems he has the freedom to walk around when necessary to ease any discomfort. To help with his hearing difficulties he sits at the front of class and with the use of accompanying workbooks he is able to follow the class.
Regarding Mr B's mental health issues he welcomes the distraction of study. Although he says he has good weeks when all that he is learning makes sense and bad weeks when he feels he doesn’t learn anything.
At times like this he believes Clait Plus is very hard. To manage his mental ill health side he writes things down. He also takes a break from his study by using the Internet and searching for Formula 1 news. This relieves the intensity of the study.
Mr D is quite shy and reluctant to ask a tutor for help so now they check frequently with him to ease the pressure of Mr D asking for help.
Mr D's future plans are to complete the Clait Plus which as he says he is finding hard and to get back into employment.
Case study 4 - Mrs U
At the start of the project Mrs U was a housewife. This is the term she uses to describe herself. She came over from Pakistan 5 years ago to get married and now has 2 children one of whom has a nursery place.
Mrs U knows only her married ‘into’ family here in the UK. and joined this course with her sister in law while her mother in law takes care of the youngest child.
In Mrs U's terms the barriers or difficulties she has faced before while on the course is the fact that sewing is a completely new skill for her
Mrs U has also said she enjoys having the opportunity to speak English in class, speaking in English stimulates and animates her. It's a language she has picked up from this country and one which she now has the opportunity to use while meeting new people, which helps to develop her social network.
Mrs U has also found she faces no social barriers while on the project, on the contrary she has felt supported and accepted.
The intervention of the sewing class for Mrs U has been very useful in terms of nurturing a skill which is highly desirable in her culture.
Because of the sewing class Mrs U says her housewife and family skills will be improved.
Mrs U also recognizes that her family will be financially better off by her having sewing skills which puts her in a contributory and empowered position.
The value of the class is echoed by the appropriateness of the course and the inclusion of equality and diversity or similarities and differences.
Mrs U is now looking in the future at being able to teach or pass on her sewing skills to others. That’s how motivated she has become from this one class.
Case Study 5 - Mr T
Mr T first came to The DP-EVH in October 2008, not quite sure of what he wanted to do with his life or where he was going with it.
Pathways, an agency Mr T was with at the time encouraged him to try a place called The DP-EVH as he had become interested in learning about computers and improving his Maths and English. He says "this turned out to be the best decision I have ever made".
He learned a lot more about himself. The DP-EVH gave him confidence to believe in himself again and to have a more positive attitude.
When he first arrived he was quite negative and didn’t know where to turn. Mr T has since made a whole new set of friends and achieved qualifications which will all go towards him hopefully, gaining employment, and the prospect of a more interesting career, not a dead end job in a factory somewhere.
He passed his Maths level 1 and is now studying Maths level 2. He also passed Business Administration N.V.Q level 1 and is currently studying N.V.Q level 2 in business administration.
He says "the atmosphere is relaxed and you can learn at your own pace and level, there is no rush, the tutors are great, understanding, kind and very helpful, Just think this could be you saying this one day".
he has also created his own CV, while doing a job search course online. This entailed looking at different sites which offer employment such as monster.com, fish 4 jobs.uk and the local jobcentre.
He also learned about emailing and the internet including how to log onto to the net and send and receive emails.
At the moment as part of his course he is doing work experience on reception where he answers the phone, makes calls, books in students and does various photocopying jobs, Mr T also does scanning, printing, shredding, comb-binding, word processing where he writes up various documents and spread sheets.
He says "I am finding this really enjoyable and it keeps my mind busy. I feel really positive about the future".
He would like to thank his tutors and the office staff for their help whilst doing his work experience.
Case study 6 - Mrs D
Mrs D a divorcee and mother regularly attended Pathways Day Centre in Mirfield West Yorkshire, a PCT funded day centre for persons with mental health issues. She has had mental health issues since 2007.
Prior to being ill she had been a stay at home mum and prior to that had worked in factories.
The invisible nature of mental ill health has meant that society had always put pressure on her to be well and had not supported her in the management of her illness. She felt that she never belonged to the community, society or to herself.
Mrs D had become isolated and estranged from people and still today has times when the surrounding people for her become overwhelming.
Mrs D left school with no formal qualifications and found learning on this course hard at times. There have been times on the project when her mind has hindered her learning and she has been unable to comprehend the lesson due to this.
However the tutors have clarified, helped and reframed the required theories and administration knowledge into understandable concepts, theories and practices.
Fulfilling the requirements of the Business Admin course has meant Mrs D has had to take a placement. She chose to do this at The DP-EVH and manage the front desk/reception once a week and also take on board other administration duties.
The project has had a profound impact on Mrs D. It has meant that the increased work load resulted in her having to learn to manage her illness and the new skills she is now learning. This new information has given her mind a new focus and distracted her thoughts away from ‘suicide’ to work ‘keeping active’ as Mrs D says ‘helps you control your depression’ and ironically having other people around her has meant she now feels supported and not an outcast. Mrs D goes on to say she doesn’t know where she would be without The DP-EVH, It has given her life focus and structure, she is now using her mind not her mind using her. Mrs D is now feeling capable and able to cope.
Mrs D used to panic, freeze, go blank, cry and want to get away, but she feels she can talk to the tutors, who talk back, support and include Mrs D giving her a sense of belonging.
Now she feels confident enough to discuss herself and perceptively has been within the process of study shown the reality of her mental health issues for herself. Mrs D has never had the opportunity to fully understand herself and the barriers she is facing.
She has always ‘been involved’ in her illness and unable to get any breathing space away from it, but is now able to manage this illness and live with it rather than being a victim of it.
Case study 7 Mr Z
When Mr Z joined the project he was in receipt of Job Seeking Allowance and looking for work. He attended and still does attend Worklink either at Batley or Dewsbury. Mr Z either goes to Batley on a Thursday or Dewsbury on a Friday for their job shops.
Mr Z also works voluntarily at the Cancer Research Shop in Dewsbury and at The DP-EVH. "To gain work experience" as Mr Z says.
He also has been taking courses at The DP-EVH for the last one and a half years.
Mr Z says he has a few barriers which he believes are hindering his progression into work.
Firstly he has been unemployed for 5 years. Which he says ’looks bad’. Secondly Mr B has mental health difficulties and due to this he has always worked in ‘rubbish jobs’, such as cleaning or packing because he was not very confident, but because of the courses he has taken here and at Worklink ‘things are better now’.
Thirdly Mr Z has a criminal record for G.B.H. from 5 years ago. For this he had three years probation and his medication increased. All Mr Z feels he can do is ‘keep trying’.
The interview skills course was really good for Mr Z as his long term mental health issues create anxiety/ and depression. This means he gets tongue-tied and cannot find the words he needs to express himself and then other people speak for him. He then becomes paranoid. Mr Z has been diagnosed with anxiety/depression and possibly mild aspergers syndrome/autism.
The A2E courses have built his confidence and taught him how to compose and write covering letters, approach interviews, and howto apply for jobs online. Which ‘is quite easy now’ as Mr Z says. All the courses have given him a new direction and purpose.
For the future Mr Z wants to find paid work in Accounts/Book Keeping and will complete his Level 2 Accounts course. He may also take the NVQ Level 2 Business Administration course as he thinks he will need experience in this area.
Case study 8 Mr B
Mr B had been made redundant four to five months previously when he came to The DP-EVH. He had voluntarily gone to A4E and joined their 14 week project. Here it was noticed that 14 weeks later Mr B had become quite despondent and was having a ‘ difficult time’. Everyone commented that there had been a drop in his motivation.
He had begun to consider going to study at DIP in Batley (the Learn Direct Centre) orthe DP-EVH. His choice rested on who could provide the quickest access to an ICT course. It was the DP-EVH. His choice was also influenced by the locality of the DP-EVH.
Mr B felt there were 3 barriers he was facing before the course. His age, his lack of qualifications and the economic climate. He feels, although it is unsaid that age is his biggest obstacle.
Mr B was conscientiously and genuinely looking hard to find employment. He had completed KMC forms but with no success. A DP-EVH tutor brought in KMC application forms for the class to complete and went through these with a fine tooth comb, with the intention of everyone completing them as a master copy for themselves.
Mr B realized he had been completing them too generally and not writing enough specifics. So with guidance and a template to work from he completed 2 KMC application forms, and was successful in securing an interview.
To enhance Mr B's employability standing he joined The DP-EVH as a volunteer and worked on the Front Desk one day per week.
The result of the course and interview was to secure an 18 month JCP employment contract.
A reminder from Mr B to The DP-EVH is to continue their delivery of A2E courses with no pressure and for learners to be able to take their time over their learning.
Mr B's contract finishes in December 2010. He still feels age is the biggest barrier he faces to seeking an extension on his contract. He says it’s about being fitter or not, or more energetic or not, despite Brian walking from Thornhill to Dewsbury whilst doing voluntary work admin/front desk at the DP-EVH.
Mr B says he enjoys working and his future plans are to carry on.
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