Chances Team Have Successful First Year

A new employment service set up during the pandemic, is celebrating its first year of successfully supporting jobseekers back into work.

During the last year alone Voluntary Norfolk’s Employment and Skills team have supported over 500 people to build their confidence, re-train and move towards work, with more than 150 of them returning to employment.

Chances was a new addition to the Employment and Skills services provided by Voluntary Norfolk in April 2021, enabling them to provide free, person-centred advice and support to anyone who is living in Norfolk, who is out of work and aged 18 or over.

Based in key locations across Norfolk, the team offer face to face support in an appropriate place across the county, such as a library or café, and spend quality time listening, understanding people’s employment needs, building confidence, reducing barriers, as well as offering practical support with CV writing and signposting.

Jason Slack, Chances advisor explained:

“It’s such a rewarding experience, supporting people get back into work – you really feel like you’re making a difference to people’s lives. One of the cases that sticks in my mind was that of a single mother, named Gail, who had been looking after her child full-time, but as they were about to start school, she had a desire to get back into work.

“From an initial conversation on a park bench I was able to support Gail start a rewarding career which provides for her son; what a fantastic journey to share. Over a short space of time, we had created a new CV, identified the types of work she was interested in and the weekly hours she was available for, how and where to search for a job and preparations for interview. Gail came on leaps and bounds with confidence towards her goal and she can be rightly proud of herself now.”

Gail received multiple job offers: “I went for an interview at the end of October, and they offered me the job then and there with my experience of 7 years in care. I have been with Carers Elite since November 2021 and I am loving the job as I am looking after people who need to be cared for.”

The Chances Project were able to fund Gail’s DBS certification check and lights for her bike to enable her to get to and from work during the winter.

Shannon English, Establishment Co-ordinator for Carers Elite says: “Gail has become a very good team member. Gail only came on board to get back into work and pick up a few hours while her son was in school but has now picked up extra shifts and even last-minute cover. I work closely with Gail and she has come out of her shell a lot and I feel she will be with us for a long time. All the clients love Gail”.

If you know someone who could benefit from the Employment and Skills team support, you can contact them via the Voluntary Norfolk website Employment & Skills Services | Voluntary Norfolk  or send an email to

The Chances project is receiving up to £2,482.233 of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. This Project has been supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Growing Places Fund and Norfolk Community Foundation through Victory Housing Trust Community Fund.