Odile's Story

Work Routes Team 530 x 353

A single mother from Headingley has started work for the first time in six years, thanks to the support of Reed in Partnership's ESF Work Routes programme.

39 year old mother of three, Odile Ketchoya, began to feel isolated from the job market after struggling to find a role that fit around her children's schools hours. Although she had been conducting her own job search, Odile began to feel depressed and demotivated after a number of knock backs, and felt unsure of where to turn.

After hearing that Work Routes offers local jobseekers free employability support, Odile signed up and soon met her personal Work Routes Adviser, Eve Ormerod.

Eve and Odile spent time establishing Odile's main barriers to work and together set out a plan to overcome them. They also assessed Odile's financial situation to demonstrate that she would be better off working, as Odile was worried that signing off benefits would be detrimental to her situation.

The ESF Work Routes team worked with Odile to establish a number of suitable roles that would fit around her childcare needs, and then updated and tailored her CV and covering letter to match these roles.

Shortly afterwards, Odile was invited to interview for a housekeeping role at boutique hotel in Leeds; after practising her interview skills in a series of mock interviews with the Work Routes team, Odile felt confident and prepared, and her subsequent job offer showed her that her hard work and determination had completely paid off.

Odile is delighted to have entered employment in a role that suits her skills and fits round her schedule as a busy mother: "I now have a job which I love and have the money to treat my children", she said.

"I would recommend Work Routes to anyone who is struggling to return to work. The programme has had a huge impact on my life, and I'm very grateful.

"I have received friendly support and, most importantly, an understanding approach to my personal situation."

ESF Work Routes offers jobseekers support to become more employable, such as free skills training, CV development, interview practice and even financial help with the cost of child care, work clothes and travel.

Work Routes is delivered in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and co-financed by the European Social Fund.

For more information about Work Routes - including how to refer somebody on to the programme - visit workroutes.co.uk.