Ruby goes the extra mile and secures a job as a Travel Buddy

A 21-year-old woman from Oxford is using her new found skills and improved confidence in her role as a Travel Buddy Trainer. For Ruby, this job is a huge milestone, as it is her first form of paid employment.

Having finished education four years ago, Ruby was struggling to find work. She joined OxForward in February 2017, with the aim of improving her confidence, meeting new people and finding a job. She joined in with centre activities like games club and group jobsearching sessions. Together with her Caseworker they created a professional, engaging CV.

Ruby said: “I found looking for work quite easy. I had a CV and I would search for jobs online. The jobs that I applied for were unsuccessful, but I continued to search.”

Ruby was lacking recent work experience, so her Caseworker arranged for her to do a placement with the OxForward centre, working as a Receptionist Administrator to increase her confidence and gain new skills and professional experience. Ruby was made responsible for answering calls, filing paperwork and arranging customer appointments.

At a recent event to celebrate OxForward, Ruby played an important role. She met with VIP delegates, shared her experience using the OxForward service with others and made sure guests were happy. Ruby has now found work as a Travel Buddy Trainer with a local self-advocacy group, My Life My Choice, an organisation for people with a Learning Disability. Ruby continues to help out in the OxForward centre and is enjoying the benefits of volunteering alongside employment.

“As a travel buddy, I meet new people and take them to their destination and anywhere they want to go in-between. I feel happy about securing work as it gives me something to do.

“My confidence has improved the most by volunteering at different organisations and answering the phone as a receptionist.”

Ruby’s Manager Paul Haines who is the Travel Buddy Coordinator at My Life My Choice said:
“Ruby has been supporting a man to learn the bus journey from Cowley to Didcot so he can go shopping there. He had been going there on his own but was often getting lost and then phoning his Dad up and asking if he could come and find him.

“Ruby has helped him to plan the journey and show him where to go and how to get back. His confidence is growing all the time. Ruby is a great Travel Buddy Trainer, she is calm, patient, a good communicator and very reliable. She is an attribute to My Life My Choice. She will start working with a young woman soon who needs to learn the bus journey from Brize Norton to Oxford and back.”

For more information about OxForward and how they could support you, call 01865 773 578 or email