The faces behind the spouses we help
As we near our 1,000 into work mark, these are some of the faces behind the stories of our spouses.
An organisation that bridges gaps between military personnel and the business community by helping forces families get work has opened an office in Helensburgh’s town centre.
Recruit for Spouses celebrated the launch of their first west of Scotland office, with an event at The Tower.
Military personnel and their families joined members of the local business community at the event, in a show of support for the new local enterprise.
One military wife who benefited from the help of Recruit for Spouses, and was happy to see the Helensburgh office open, was Lindsay Storey, whose husband was posted to Faslane at the end of 2013.
Lindsay was a qualified and experienced science teacher in England but left the job she loved and followed her husband to Clynder when he was posted. Lindsay thought she would get a job up here once they were settled but came across a number of issues.
She said: “I naively thought it would be best to get up here and settled in and then have a look at getting a job again in teaching.
“When I looked into it though I needed over £200 just to apply to the Scottish GTC and acquire a PVG for £70, just to be able to apply for jobs, even supply work.
“Also jobs within a distance I could commute seemed thin on the ground. I chose to tutor instead for a while so that I could get some experience in the new curriculum and got bits and pieces of work through that, but nothing more than pocket money.
“I also worked in a local café for two days a week to get out the house.”
At the start of 2014 Lindsay was keen to get a full-time job and having struggled to get into teaching was happy to do anything. She applied for jobs but wasn’t having much luck and signed up to the job centre but didn’t find it supportive or positive.
She applied for lots of jobs and had the odd interview but struggled to answer some of the questions due to her lifestyle and partly being overqualified.
She added: “I could see the red flags and alarm bells in interviews that they weren’t able to legally say anything about. It was tough.“Yes, I would have loved to pick up a teaching job and do what I love and am qualified for but the hurdles in place due to having ‘trained abroad’ were too much.”
Lindsay came across Recruit for Spouses and signed up. They provided her with online support, questionnaires to help her identify her strengths and weaknesses and they helped her redraft her CV.
She also spoke to the mentors on the phone for help and advice and was invited along to a session they were running but was offered a job before the event.
Lindsay added: “All of this helped me to approach job seeking better equipped. The thing that I found most helpful was the general supportive nature of the group.
“I felt like they understood the problems I felt I was facing and were giving me clear guidance on how to overcome them. I think this meant that when applying for jobs I got back some confidence that I had lost.
“It took nearly six months for me to get offered a job and I know this would have been significantly longer if not for the Recruit for Spouses team.
“I would use them again and recommend them to any military spouse who wanted or needed work.
“I was happy to hear them specifically mention teaching at the office opening and hope that they will be of use to me once I am ready to return to teaching if I am still up here in Scotland.”
Also in attendance at the event was MSP Maurice Corry, Armed Forces Champion. Mr Corry spoke at the event addressing service personnel, wives and businesses who attended.He stated: “It is a privilege to have been invited to speak at the opening of the Recruit for Spouses in Helensburgh. Seeing so many people support this organisation is great.
“The work they do is extremely important in helping military spouses gain some form of employment and helps with the practicalities of childcare when their partners are away on service. To allow them these opportunities is wonderful.”
A large number of people turned out at the event to hear about how Recruit for Spouses could help them.
Heledd Kendrick, CEO of Recruit for Spouses, said: “Helping military spouses into work is our main objective and by opening an office in Helensburgh we are able to bring the opportunities and support that have proven so beneficial to our wider community.”
credit Helensburgh advertiser