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BCHA Who we are blog – Kate Coughlan, BHCA project advisor The Way Forward

Kate Coughlan

BCHA’s The Way Forward programme is a unique employability and skills coaching programme for anyone within BCP area, whose financial health and employment status has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here, Kate describes the joy she gets from helping people find their way to a job and a life they love.

“I started work in the field of supporting others seven years ago, teaching and developing life skills with 16 to 18 year-olds. But even then, I knew that working with vulnerable client groups would be my most important challenge.

“I joined BCHA to work more around personal development with vulnerable adults as part of the Ignite team and later joined the Steps2Success programme as a Project Coordinator. This was an amazing opportunity to work with the younger age group (15 to 24) again and to run my own project.

“From this contract came the welcomed opportunity to be a part of The Way Forward Team as an advisor and also to support the At Your Service programme, which has just recently launched and will equip unemployed people with skills and training to enter an exciting career in hospitality.

“I enjoy the challenges that come with different client groups and the huge rewards that, at times, are extremely humbling.

“There is no better feeling in the world than to support individuals who are on their own unique journey, and to have them allow you to join them on their path towards their goal.

“Some people who come to us for support embrace all that we have to offer them and as a result, grow in confidence and self-esteem and transform as individuals.

“To see this growth in an individual is fantastic, especially when most of these people do not even realise it is happening.

“As advisors we are privileged to see these changes occur from a very early stage in the support process. Whereas clients might not be fully aware of just how much they have developed and grown in confidence until they are faced with a situation they need to overcome.

“They are then amazed when they manage the situation completely differently to how they would have done three months previously. Trusting in their own abilities and instincts and taking control of the situation.

“Being told by a client that they can’t thank you enough for the help you have given them is simply priceless.

“One of my previous clients, a 21-year-old woman, doubted her ability to even sit through a three-hour workshop due to ADHD and psychosis.

“But I encouraged her to try it and she found she couldn’t get enough of the workshops.

“I went on to encouraged her to try one of the short qualifications on offer - and again she doubted herself, especially her ability to complete the written work. But she excelled and went on to complete the full range of qualifications on offer (four accredited courses).

“This amazing young woman eventually took up a volunteering role within an office environment, which I organised.

“She used her love of martial arts as an outlet for her difficulties and she did so well that she became a paid worker and key holder.

“I could not be more proud of her.”

If you would like to hear more about The Way Forward or to enrol onto the project, please contact us on 07971 614935/07971 640948 or email thewayforward@bcha.org.uk More details about The Way Forward can be found on the BCHA website 

To find out more about At Your Service, please email: atyourservice@bcha.org.uk or call 07971614935/07971 640948. More details about At Your Service can be found on the BCHA website.

 

 

 

 

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