Job club turns lives around

Axminster volunteers help people find work and regain their confidence

Feeling low and lacking confidence after 18 months out of work Jane Rice made a life changing decision

The mother-of-two decided to visit Axminster’s nationally acclaimed Alternative Job Club – and soon found new doors to open.

Now Jane (not her real name) has full-time employment with a local high street bank and has turned her life around.

This week her story was held up as an example of how the club, which meets weekly in the Methodist Church Hall, is providing vital support for many people from different walks of life.

Jane’s experience there is typical. She has told how she was welcomed by friendly volunteers, skilled in supporting people back into work, and met others who were in the same position as herself, joining in a weekly discussion group which helped her to learn a lot about the job market and how to organise her job search, as well as practical skills, such as CV writing and interview techniques.

Armed with a new CV and a lot more confidence, Jane was able to find, firstly part-time and then full-time work. Today she is enthusiastic in her praise of the job club and keen for others to benefit from what it has to offer.

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She told The Herald: “The Axminster job club is a lively little hub for people in the same situation as I was - unemployed! It’s a meeting place for getting heads together and rooting out those jobs and getting that all-important job interview.

“The job club helps you keep your mind on the objective and that’s nailing that job. Sharing an experience such as being out of work - whether it’s been in the short or long term - helps one to deal with all the negativity that is brought about by feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, depression and the obvious financial strain.

“So my advice is ‘get out of your front door on a Thursday morning and head for the helpful, friendly and very resourceful Axminster Alternative Job Club. I did and I found myself in gainful employment.”

Axminster’s Alternative Job Club, organised by the town’s Churches Together group, is manned by volunteers. It is a free service to all job seekers and is open every Thursday from 9.30am to 12.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, opposite the Flamingo Pool car park in Lyme Road.

It displays up-to-date job vacancies and has five online laptops and a Wi-Fi printer to support visitors in their job search. A National Careers Adviser and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau are present every Thursday and it is planned soon to have a service point for a credit union. The East Devon Volunteer Support Agency join the team every other week and Honiton Job Centre Plus are also represented on the first Thursday of every month. If appropriate the advisors are also able to signpost people to further training.

Since it opened two years ago the club has recorded 1,500 visits and directly found work for some 250 people and put many more on course to secure employment.

To contact the job club: email:

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