Jobseeker is rewarded for helping others to get into work

Alan Bennett, a volunteer at Communiuty House, Yoden Way , Peterlee, receIves a certificate and a gift, for his work as a volunteer, from MP for Easington Grahame Morris (right) and Malcolm Fallow Chief Executive of the East Durham Trust (left)

Alan Bennett, a volunteer at Communiuty House, Yoden Way , Peterlee, receIves a certificate and a gift, for his work as a volunteer, from MP for Easington Grahame Morris (right) and Malcolm Fallow Chief Executive of the East Durham Trust (left)

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A man who turned to a job club for help to find a new career is now helping others as they set out on their own search.

Alan Bennett, from Horden, originally hoped to simply improve his CV and take part in job search activities but staff of East Durham Trust were quick to spot his potential.

Alan is a great role model and an excellent example of the community spirit that binds together communities like East Durham.”

Malcolm Fallow

He now helps out at three community venues and sees the volunteering placement as an opportunity to get back into a routine, having been unemployed since March.

He hopes it will also show employers his potential as an employee.

Alan said: “Helping others to look for work and increase their employment potential has given me a real sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed on a morning.”

East Durham Trust hosts a range of community-based job clubs thanks to funding from the local Area Action Partnership.

Malcolm Fallow, the trust’s chief executive, added: “Alan is a great role model and an excellent example of the community spirit that binds together communities like East Durham.”

The trust has recognised Alan’s contribution with a special award which was handed to him during a ceremony attended by Easington MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities Grahame Morris, who also held a surgery at the trust’s base in Peterlee.

The East Durham Community Job Clubs were established in 2015 as an alternative to the more formal facilities provided by Jobcentre Plus and the Department for Work and Pensions.

A total of 11 venues operate on a weekly basis and to date, more than 50 people have found work following attendance.

The supported sessions offer help to learn computer skills, job searches, CV writing, competing application forms, how to improve interview skills and help with maths, reading and writing skills.

It can also help people with how they can become self-employed, sign up to an apprenticeship, take training courses and find volunteering opportunities.

Anyone who would like more details can contact project co-ordinator Helen Waller on (0191) 5693511 or email helen.waller@eastdurhamtrust.org.uk.