Growth Company key worker in line for prestigious national award
- Friday, November 12, 2021
- Posted By The Growth Company
Enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to go the extra mile for customers has seen Growth Company Employment advisor Victoria Hague shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Now in their ninth year, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) awards celebrate best practice in the employment support sector, and this year received over 200 entries from across the UK.
Nominated in the Frontline Advisor of the Year category, Victoria has several years’ experience working with a diverse range of customers and helping them into sustainable employment.
Victoria is a member of the company’s 12-strong team of key workers who deliver a work and health programme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The Growth Company is one of the UK’s largest social enterprises and works with more than 100,000 individuals a year, providing education, training and employment support.
Clients include people with health conditions, those in the criminal justice system and armed forces veterans. Victoria is also the team’s Personal Independence Payments (PIPs), helping disabled customers to complete applications for this much-needed benefit.
Her nomination is based on her work during the pandemic, explains manager Natalie Sanlon and her willingness to put in extra hours to help people. “Sometimes the best team members don’t stick to the script: they go above and beyond what their role is on paper to truly make a difference.”
During COVID-19, alongside employment support, Victoria helped customers in many other ways, such as putting them in touch with food banks and helping them to access support to pay their energy bills, as well as mental health services.
As the crisis eased, she was also among the first people to return to the office so she could begin seeing her clients again in person.
As Victoria says: “I try and stay with a customer through their entire journey into sustainable employment, from their first assessment, through the job search and application process, and into the first critical few months of employment. I think it’s important they have someone they know at their side.”
While job search, CV writing and interview preparation form an important part of the job, Victoria helps customers break down all the barriers standing in their way when it comes to employment.
She began working with Jayne a year ago, a woman who struggled with several personal and health issues. Victoria has helped to turn her life around, from learning new digital skills to accessing gas and electricity vouchers and working with Citizens Advice to challenge a repossession order on her home.
As Jayne says: “Without Vicky I wouldn’t know where I would be. She has been fabulous. She has put me on the right path … and I am looking forward to getting back to work in the next few months.”
“Barriers to sustainable employment can come in many forms and Victoria is adept at developing imaginative solutions which break them down,” adds Natalie.
“She shows a commitment to her role which goes beyond doing what’s needed. Instead, she focuses on what’s the right thing to do.”
The award winners will be announced on November 25.