We’re delighted to announce that one of our former jobseekers, Jolene Thompson-Carney, has been shortlisted in the ‘Significant Achiever of the Year’ category at the Employment Related Services (ERSA) Awards.
Having faced many challenges during her life, including witnessing abuse during her childhood, before becoming a drug user at just 11, and eventually serving a prison sentence for a dealing offence, Jolene made the choice to turn her life around — with the help of Offploy.
Now seven years clean and nine months into her role as line operative/labourer, Jolene is taking positive strides towards a promising future. The proud owner of a forklift licence, and a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, she has successfully progressed within her employment – recently advancing a level in her job.
Having worked hard to save for and purchase her first car, she is currently learning to drive and has recently marked another significant step in her grand plan – a house move which completes her ‘fresh start’.
Jolene comments: “In many ways, it would have been easy to have continued down the path that I was on — but that didn’t make me happy. I’m so proud to be in secure employment and excited about what the future holds.
“I’m really thankful to Offploy for the support they’ve offered me — not just in getting a job, but in terms of mentoring and being a listening ear too. The fact that many of the team have lived-experience of the criminal justice system means they understand the challenges that come with starting again.
“Hearing that I was to be nominated for an award, and then to have made the shortlist, is more than I could have imagined. It’s a great feeling to be recognised for the progress that I’ve made because it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it.”
Having seized the opportunities that she’s been offered, Jolene has chosen to serve as an unofficial peer-mentor to others who need her support, championing their ability to tread a different path – just as she has done. Her longer-term ambition is to return to her former prison as a speaker in order to provide the hope, inspiration, and care that others need to turn their lives around.
The whole Offploy team is thrilled with Jolene’s achievements and will be watching in anticipation of the winning result when the virtual awards ceremony takes place on 25th November at 2pm – fingers crossed for Jolene!