They say never to work with children or animals – but life at the zoo is a dream job for Richard!
Richard was unemployed and lacking in confidence when he signed up to the Work and Health Programme North West. It gives anyone who has a health condition, or who has been unemployed for a long time, tailored support to find work.
When he was referred to the Work and Health Programme, Richard was assigned a key worker, Daran, who provided him with one-to-one support. After Richard expressed a wish to work outdoors, Daran helped him apply for a job at Blackpool Zoo, believing it would be “absolutely superb” for him.
Richard says: “I had a CV at the time that wasn’t really up to scratch. Daran helped me to improve it and I didn’t have a cover letter either, so he helped me with that as well.”
Richard secured an interview at the zoo and was quickly snapped up as a Visitor Services seasonal employee. The zoo’s duty manager Gary was impressed by Richard’s can-do attitude. He says: “Richard, from the word go, came across as being very proactive… he was a guy that I very quickly realised I could rely on to get the job done.”
Richard’s role incorporates a range of responsibilities, from car park operations to meeting and greeting guests and keeping the park clean and tidy. He loves the variety – and couldn’t be happier to be working outdoors. Richard says: “Working at Blackpool Zoo is really enjoyable because you get your cardio in and that’s what I like, I don’t like staying in one spot. It is one of those jobs where you’ll meet a lot of friendly people, and it is a really great experience because you go to the zoo all day!”
He adds: “The Work and Health Programme has helped me boost my confidence. They have made me realise it’s not too hard to find a job, and they’ve also put some belief into me so I can actually try these things and expand my horizons. The Work and Health Programme overall experience was amazing. They were very helpful, very supportive, and I appreciate everything they’ve done.”
Courtney, who lives near Preston, was feeling downhearted and experienced physical and mental health issues last year when she sought help from the Work and Health Programme.
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