Rossendale Works provides opportunity for Bacup resident to help others

Published March 18, 2021 at 13:19

AFTER more than three years trying to get a job, Louise Gregory has landed on her feet doing what she does best, helping others to help themselves.

Louise, 55, from Bacup, left her last job because she suffers from a degenerative condition Ankylosing Spondylitis and having to stand in one position for a long time aggravated the symptoms.

She said: “It causes my vertebrae to fuse and that leads to inflammation and sciatica.

“I got really demoralised when I was not working and I couldn’t do anything about it so I went on benefits, but then it took longer than expected to get any money through and I lost my confidence.”

Now she is working part-time with Rossendale Works as a support worker helping others back into employment and to become work-ready.

Innovative Rossendale Works is a Rossendale Council Project, run in partnership with Active Lancashire and funded by European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) as part of the More Positive Together Project.

Louise said “My background has been working on community projects, with young people and also environmental work.”

Thanks to a friend, Louise was introduced to Paul Becouarn, who runs the employability project Rossendale Works.

He said: “After sharing a bit of her background and when I met Louise, I realised that she didn’t see a way of getting back into work and her self-esteem was a bit low.

“So, I explored the skillset she had and her history and the responsibilities she had in different roles and it was mind blowing. I could see the potential in her immediately.

“After discussing options, I suggested she become a support worker with Rossendale Works and she is doing a great job.”

Rossendale Council Leader Alyson Barnes said: “Rossendale Works has been an incredible success story for the council and the residents of Rossendale for the past three years, helping people become ready for work and assisting them to seek opportunities and gain employment.

“Louise has worked in Rossendale for many years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role; I wish her every success.”

Louise said: “My role is to help people become work ready by offering and promoting regular free activities to get them mentally and physically fitter, a range of work opportunities with local employers, free courses and volunteering opportunities

“A lot of my work is currently online over Zoom, but I am looking forward to when we can all meet up in person for activities and events.”

Active Lancashire relationship Manager Sarah Dunne said: “We are thrilled that Louise decided to apply for the part time support worker vacancy at Rossendale Works.

“Our project prides itself in providing opportunities for those with lived experience. Louise is a valued member of the team and has settled in well.”

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