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After years of unemployment, volunteering with Framework got me back into work

Looking back now I can see that as a man used to being the family bread winner, being unemployed had removed my sense of purpose.

I was desperate to get back into work, but once you have a CV gap people just don’t want to know. It seemed the more applications I wrote, the more I was ignored and the more dejected I became. At a job fair I handed my CV out to every employer offering to work for free and got no responses. Imagine how that feels.

When I joined Framework’s Opportunity & Change programme, I’d been unemployed for years and my confidence was low. My support worker knew that I badly needed to get back to work, so he contacted a colleague who looked at my CV and thought she had the kind of role I might need.

That’s how, within two months of joining the Opportunity & Change programme, I started volunteering as a bid writer in Framework’s fundraising team, researching funders, and securing donations from grant-giving Trusts.

Volunteering at Framework gave me a huge boost in confidence and a renewed sense of purpose. It got me back into a daily routine and I was energised by interacting with people and learning new things. Also, in a very practical sense, it filled a gap in my CV and improved my chances of finding employment.

Then, within 6 months of becoming a volunteer, I had the slice of luck that had eluded me during years of unemployment. A role became available and after years of failed applications, armed with transferrable skills and new-found confidence, I successfully secured a job in Framework’s fundraising team.

Ron Finnegan