Lillian's Story

Lillian 530 x 353

Peterborough Work Routes celebrates 100th person placed into employment

Reed in Partnership's ESF Work Routes programme in Peterborough is celebrating supporting its 100th participant into employment, after it helped a Peterborough woman into her first paid job in 25 years.

ESF funded Work Routes offers local people completely free, one-to-one employment support - from in-house skills training and interview practice, to financial assistance with child care, travel, and interview clothing.

Lillian Youles, 54, from Peterborough, had been claiming state benefits for 25 years. She felt isolated from the jobs market, lacked confidence and motivation, and was depressed following the sad passing of her daughter in 2016.

After her own unsuccessful job search, Lillian signed up to Work Routes in January 2017 and met Christina Hider, the ESF Employment Adviser who would stay with her and support her throughout her journey into work.

Together they assessed Lillian's barriers to work and took measures to help her overcome these. Lillian was supported to access the services of mental health charity, MIND, and a local bereavement counsellor to help her deal with the death of her daughter.

They created a new CV and covering letter tailored to Lillian's skills, conducted extensive job search, discussed what would happen to Lillian's benefits once she entered employment, and practised interview skills through a number of mock interviews.

Lillian soon landed an interview for a Cleaning Operative role at Peterborough City Hospital, and she was offered the job soon after, having aced her interview with her newly developed confidence and interview skills.

Lillian is delighted to be working - she said: "I feel the support has been brilliant. Before coming on to the [ESF Work Routes] programme, I wasn't getting any feedback from employers.

"But since being on the programme, I have had a lot of interest from employers and interviews. I have now had an offer of employment, which has made me feel so emotional as I feel I can give something back."

Work Routes is delivered across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire by public services provider Reed in Partnership, who specialise in helping people into employment, and local partners Seetec and F1 Training.

The programme is set to support 2,100 jobseekers in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire over a three year period.

If you are over 18 and currently unemployed, visit to sign up and find your local Work Routes office.

Work Routes is delivered in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and funded the European Social Fund.