It can be awkward: walking through the door into a consultancy reception space for the first time; introducing yourself; sharing the waiting space with strangers. Even at the best of times you can feel uncomfortably exposed. It’s definitely not the best of times when life’s dealt you a doozey, and coping with new situations can seem overwhelming.
That’s why Catapult offers an overarching support from employment consultants and anxiety counsellors at the one location. Clients who have had appointments for one service can be referred on to the other and continue their support back into employment in a place they’ve become familiar with and feel comfortable in.
A client came in recently whose comments really confirmed the value of this.
Anxiety counselling was what first brought Shelley to Catapult
“I was hoping to be ready for work. I just kept thinking: ‘I need to work… I need to work,’ but I just wasn’t ready – I couldn’t stop crying long enough to work! And my counsellor pinpointed my values and barriers to employment – it was eye-opening”. “She was able to pick up on stuff, see where I needed to go before I saw it myself”.
When Shelley felt ready for employment support she didn’t need to trawl the city looking for options going through the whole introductory challenge again. She simply met up with one of Catapult’s employment consultants – someone who already knew her from her visits to the counsellor and had sometimes had a chat with her while she was waiting for appointments.
Shelley says it worked so well for her having both services in the same place, “rather than being sent here, there and everywhere to sort it all out, I could get it all here in the same bubble… it felt like a supportive bubble. Because it’s under one roof – you get to know the people around. It felt good coming into Catapult each time because I’d sort of got to recognise everyone working there even if it was just by seeing them around the place”.
As a happy endnote Shelley’s been successful in her supported job search. She’s chuffed and she knows that the support she found at Catapult doesn’t end with employment.
Shelley says she calls up Luke, her Catapult employment consultant, if she’s feeling unsure… stressed, or comes into the office – the bubble – to touch base: “I actually think my first call was to him after my first shift at work, it was something like, ‘I think you’ve found my dream job!’.”
We asked her what advice she would give someone who may have their own stresses and barriers about looking for work.
“If you’ve got any barriers to employment come into Catapult”.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.