Keeping it Simple
Every day I speak to Job Club leaders. Some have been running successful and established groups for years; many are in the planning stage of their first Job Club. We always say that every Job Club is different – but they all work.
We talk programmes, partners, broadband, laptops, media relations, funding and the rest – convinced that we need all this stuff to run our Job Club.
Notice, we’re talking about Job Clubs… NOT Job Club members.
This morning, I visited a Job Club which challenged me to think differently.
Edenbridge Job Club recently moved to a new (heated) venue. Set up nearly two years ago by GB Job Clubs CE Chris Neal, it’s not just the heating that surrounds you with warmth.
No computers. No literature. Not even a Sits Vac section of the local paper. This was different. A circle of comfortable chairs – tea and coffee kindly provided by the Children’s Centre organisers. A conversation, gently led and moderated by Chris, 100% focussed on the members. Frustrations vented, ideas shared, suggestions made, job-seeking campaigns planned, jokes exchanged and enthusiasm rekindled. All characterised by patience and politeness.
This was ALL about the members – the people we set out to support – the people who daily and monthly are encouraged – not to give up hope; but to value themselves – not for what they do; but for who they are – not as “jobless statistics”; but individuals worth caring about.
Now, you may be thinking this is all very well; but isn’t it all a bit impractical and starry-eyed? It’s all very well sitting around discussing how we feel all day, Jane; but what about finding a job? Well, Edenbridge Job Club has a great record of its members finding employment and recently celebrated their 50th member going back to work.
Chris has written elsewhere of how this small, voluntary Job Club has contributed to the Exchequer.
I was struck, as always, by the sincerity and potential of our jobseekers and hope that Steve, Ben and Ernie will shortly be numbers 51, 52 & 53 on the Edenbridge Job Club Roll of Honour.