‘It’s helped me to make a change’

Tina Craig (far right) pictured with Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership team Rhonda Boyd (far left) and Annemarie O'Hara.
Tina Craig (far right) pictured with Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership team Rhonda Boyd (far left) and Annemarie O'Hara.

Forty-four year-old Tina Craig has secured her first full-time job in eight years and she’s over the moon.

Tina completed an Essential Skills course with the Derry 2020 Project through the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership this week and she starts her new job in three weeks.

“I am absolutely delighted. I have wanted to work within the security industry for the last few years and now with the help of the Derry 2020 Project I have been able to secure my dream job,” says the mother of one.

Tina, along with other people from the Waterside area started the Essential Skills course eight weeks ago and on Thursday they were all awarded with their certificates to show they had completed the course.

“I have really benefited from brushing up on my Mathematics. Before I did the course I was terrified when I saw percentages or fractions but now I am able to work them out.

“My son, Cory, is six years-old and before the course I would have been terrified if he wanted me to help him with his homework but now because of the course it’s actually something I look forward to now - it gives us the chance to spend some quality time together.”

Tina stressed that despite not having a full-time job for almost eight years she remained active by volunteering in her local community and by attaining as many qualifications as possible.

“My message to people on the dole is that there is help out there. Whether it’s Derry 2020 at the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership there are courses out there that can help you become more employable.

“I am not saying that if you do an eight week course you’ll find your dream job. What I am saying is that if you keep at it and work hard and get your qualifications, doors will open,” she smiled.

Annemarie O’Hara is Employment and Mentoring Officer with Derry 2020 at the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership.

Annemarie said she was delighted when she heard Tina’s news and added that helping people find their ‘dream job’ was something she found very satisfying.

“When you hear news like Tina’s it really makes what we are doing here all worthwhile. Tina and the others on the course have all worked really hard and they deserve all the good fortune that comes their way.”

The Derry 2020 Project at the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership is also currently offering places on the Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) programme.

One of the places on the programme is a media and marketing officer with the Derry 2020 Project and Annemarie said they are keen to hear from anyone interested in developing experience working in the local media sector.

“We have a place for a janitor in Drumahoe and an events assistant with Hillcrest House but we also want to recruit someone interested in media.

“It’s a great opportunity for someone for six months and there is payment.”

For further information on the Derry 2020 Project or for details on the Intermediate Labour Market Programme contact Annemarie O’Hara at the Derry 2020 Project at the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership on 02871 342959.

The Derry 2020 Project is part funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for Employment and Learning under the NI ESF Programme 2007-2013.