Our Wise steps programme gives people with multiple barriers to employment the support and confidence they need in finding a job and, moreover, in finding the right path for them.
When Dylan* found himself unemployed he contacted our Wise Steps team: “I saw their advert and thought I’d give them a ring. The first thing they did was get me a pair of new shoes without holes. Happiness is having dry feet!
“Then they started me on a creative writing course, which I loved and had always wanted to do.”
Shona Dillon, the charity’s Wise Steps Coach, continues: “When Dylan came to Wise Steps in 2020 he presented with low confidence. He was feeling a bit lost.
“We worked on his wellbeing and, over the next year and a half, he has had support though our specialist partners including ABC, digital inclusion and Citizens Advice Gateshead. With this new found confidence we have been working together to apply for jobs as an artist in the creative industry.”
Becoming an artist
Dylan has completed a glass workshop at National Glass Centre Sunderland, which we secured funding for through Wise Steps, and he has created some beautiful art pieces.
“I came up with an art concept, Wise Steps got me some funding for start-up costs so that I could sell prints and go self-employed, which was scary, but wonderful to do,” adds Dylan.
He continues: “They helped me on how to become an artist; when they showed me an Artist Job Website THAT blew my mind! I learnt how to apply to actual art galleries. An entire new world I didn’t know existed opened up to me. I haven’t got there quite yet, but I know I will!”
Putting people at the center
As Shona explains, Oasis Community Housing works with individuals at risk of homelessness on finding a job, training or volunteering in a truly unique, person-centered way: “We help you towards your dreams, ideas and hopes. We will listen to you and fight for you.”
Dylan says: “You aren’t just a tick box, they helped me to be outside the box. I couldn’t have gotten this far without them.
“When (not if!) I make it as an artist, I’d give my time to Oasis Community Housing so they can help others as much as they have me!”
*Names have been changed to protect identity