Having helped 10,000 people back into work, staff, lay leaders and volunteers of Resource took a night off to celebrate its 25th anniversary at a reception at the Jewish Museum in Camden.
The north London-based communal charity offers free one-to-one advice and support on matters including navigating the job market, preparing a CV and interview skills. It seeks to rebuild the confidence of the unemployed.
Addressing the 150 guests, chief executive Victoria Sterman complimented its team of expert volunteer advisers and mentors. “They treat the job as no different from a paid role.”
Echoing her sentiments, trustees’ chair Alan Sanders added: “Ten thousand lives have been affected positively in all sorts of ways.” Many more when families were factored in.
It was sometimes necessary to manage clients’ expectations. But conversely, people often needed to be assured: “You can do a lot better than shelf-stacking.”
Last year, 70 per cent of the 400 people who enrolled with Resource found work. There are currently 180 on its books.
Ms Sterman, who has been with the charity for four years, told the JC Resource had moved with the times. “We teach our clients that most jobs will be found through networking. Also, the manner of the job interview has changed. Much fewer are face-to-face.”
Approaches for support came from the unlikeliest of places. “Someone called from prison and said he was coming out next week.”
Jobs Resource has helped clients to find range from shomer to ethical hacker. It has even assisted rabbis — “they are not commercially minded. We’ve got a big network of people in the Jewish community and outside. There are jobs out there. It’s how to apply.”
Guests at the reception also viewed the museum’s Amy Winehouse exhibition, guided by curator Joanne Rosenthal.