Volunteering gives David an appetite for hospitality

“I have developed customer service, hospitality and catering skills, which has now given me the confidence to apply for jobs in this area of work.”

West Midlands resident, David, is one of hundreds of Kennedy Scott clients who are feeling the benefits of volunteering while giving something back to their local communities.

David, a former widow fabricator, has been unemployed for more than ten years due to health issues following an operation. When he joined Kennedy Scott's Specialist Employability Support (SES) programme in December 2015, his caseworker, Gill, worked with him to explore options that would allow him to improve his skills, gain work experience and improve his confidence.

David said: “I knew I needed to learn new skills, as I could not go back to my previous job as a Window Fabricator due to my kidney transplant.”

He soon found a position volunteering with the Wednesbury Celebrates project, an initiative that organises events, activities and support for local residents. David now volunteers twice a week with the Bostin Cafe, providing healthy meals to vulnerable people in the community, and helps to organise and run the project's monthly event evenings.

The role appeals to David's love of cooking, and in addition to gaining valuable skills and experience, Gill has noted that since David started volunteering his confidence and overall well-being has improved greatly.

With David commenting: “Before I started Voluntary work at The Bostin Café for Wednesbury Celebrates, I didn’t get out the house much and I found it very difficult to talk to people and socialise.

“Since starting my voluntary work in February, I have met so many new people, made many new friends and my confidence has grown. I now find it easier to talk to, and mix with people.”

David has received positive feedback from members of the Wednesbury Celebrates team and they have been so impressed with David, that hat they have applied for funding to help move him into a part-time paid position.

He said: “The councillors who run the project are so pleased with me that they have applied for funding to take me into a part-time, paid role.”

Both David and Gill are confident that his volunteering experience has greatly improved his employment prospects, and he is now once again optimistic about his future.

*SES is part- funded by the European Social Fund