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Stories from Riverside Vineyard Church’s Job Club

Riverside Vineyard Church

This year, Riverside Vineyard Church in London launched their Job Club which provides practical support to those looking for employment, whatever their background.  We asked them to share their story of stepping into this gap.

In January 2022, a construction company approached Riverside Vineyard Church asking if they would host an event to help them recruit employees for their local building projects in the London Borough of Hounslow. The job fair proved to be a great way of bringing local people, local organisations and the local church together. Attendees were invited to sign up to the recently launched Riverside Vineyard’s Job Club, run in partnership with Christians Against Poverty. 

After the success of the first event, two further jobs fairs were held in April and September, leading to many booking onto the Job Club and signing up to their 9-week Job Club ‘Steps to Employment’ courses. It has been amazing to see the tangible impact that the Job Club has had on the lives of people who attended. 

One great story we heard was about a Chinese woman who attended the first Job Club course. When she lived in China, she had worked as a university lecturer and was a published poet and author. After moving to the UK, she worked as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant, however due to the COVID-29 lockdowns, the restaurant closed down and she lost her job. 

She heard about the Job Club when attending ‘Meeting Place’, Riverside Vineyard’s free English class. She had been applying for jobs teaching Mandarin but had so far been unsuccessful. Over the 9-weeks of the Job Club course, her confidence greatly improved and she was given help producing a new CV. She is now working as a translator for Chinese passengers at Heathrow.  At the jobs fair in September, she was also introduced to the pastor of a local Chinese Church.

Another Job Club attendee was a woman who wanted to go back to work after a number of years looking after her children.  She wanted to work in a school to fit in with child care and had taken her CV round to several local schools, with no success.  While she was on the Job Club course, her children’s school advertised for a meals supervisor job and she applied.  After securing an interview, the Job Club helped her with a practice interview and gave feedback on how she could improve her answers.  She came back the next Job Club session and said that she had been asked the same questions at the interview as they had practised and that she had been offered the job!

Lastly, we heard about a woman, originally from Myanmar, who attended the Job Club course. She wanted to change jobs as she had hip problems and was physically struggling with her current job as a carer.  She had heard about a job working as a research assistant at the University of Warwick, relating to research into the Burmese language, her native language.  She was unsure about whether to apply, because it was working online and she thought her IT skills wouldn’t be good enough.  The staff at Job Club encouraged her to apply and helped her with the online application.  They heard later that she had got the job!

We love hearing how churches are practically stepping out to love and support their communities! If you have a story that you’d like to share, please email [email protected] 

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