People with experience of homelessness have received free training and job offers from a Glasgow IT company.
Staff from Leisure Connect have been making digital improvements at homelessness charity Emmaus Glasgow’s community building and our secondhand shop in Hamiltonhill.
They worked alongside people being supported by the charity, teaching them how to improve wi-fi and security during the installation of 18 new CCTV cameras, a 5G network and keypad door security.
The opportunity has given Nicky the chance to try a different line of work outside of the charity’s secondhand shops, while continuing to receive support from a dedicated team of staff at Emmaus.
Nicky said: “Emmaus just gives you the confidence to do it. It was the customers of Emmaus Glasgow who lifted my spirit, to overcome challenges by being kind, helpful and generous.
“Customers helped with my resilience. I never thought I’d be going what I’m doing now. It’s good work and it’s something I enjoy.”
The company donated Amazon vouchers to everyone who took part in the work trial and has pledged to offer jobs and fund qualifications in IT and installation for those who would like to continue their training.
Director of Leisure Connect, John McShane, said: “Emmaus Glasgow has been great; everyone really helped with the job. We wanted to build a partnership and a relationship with the charity so we sat down and had lunch with everyone in the community and had a good blether.
“This helped us understand what it’s been like for people who’ve experienced homelessness and how they’re being helped to turn their lives around. Emmaus Glasgow is a grace period to get back into the world and get on your own two feet by working to build confidence.
“In addition to the free training, it’s great that we’ve so far been able to offer two people the opportunity to work with us full time. Everyone deserves a second chance and if we can make a difference to someone else’s life, then that’s good for us.”
The digital improvements work at Emmaus Glasgow was funded by an initial £1,300 grant from the Scottish Government followed by a £10,000 Digital Boost Development Grant, which has already enhanced internet access for charity beneficiaries seeking support services online.
It has also proved a boost for customers by providing improved connectivity to the internet in store, as well as wi-fi capability for new till systems at the charity shop.
Director of Emmaus Glasgow, Richard Allwood, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for members of our community to gain an insight into wi-fi connectivity and security operations. This valuable experience of working has really boosted people’s self-confidence and self-esteem, which will support their future journeys ahead.
“Leisure Connect were excellent contractors and members of our community have really enjoyed sharing mealtimes with staff. Meeting different people and sharing experiences really opens doors for people, some of whom have been socially isolated and lived on the margins of society. This company’s offer has been extremely valuable in providing the opportunity for our companions to progress.
Emmaus Glasgow is seeking partnerships with other organisations and enterprises within Glasgow and the wider area. To find out more about the charity and about getting involved with helping other people in need, please get in touch at [email protected].