Valentyna – Becoming a Volunteer Coordinator for Refugees

Valentyna, aged 31, moved to the United Kingdom as a result of ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and settled in York. When she joined Making a Difference after meeting the team at an International Friendship event, little did she know that she would become a Volunteer Coordinator for fellow refugees in the UK.

When Valentyna joined the programme, she wanted to find work in the IT sector and understand how to use job sites effectively. Her previous experience looking for work had been very different, but she was keen to get to grips with the UK sectors and opportunities.

How Did We Help?

Valentyna met with Jo, a Making a Difference Employment Coach. In their first session, they explored apprenticeships as Valentyna was interested in finding work as a front-end developer. However, she had limited work experience in this area.

They also researched websites which focused specifically on IT companies. Through this, Valentyna and Jo identified companies in the York area which were possibly advertising. Valentyna successfully tailored her CV to these roles to showcase how her skills and experience would be a good fit.

However, throughout this process, Valentyna discovered that she would like to look for a different role that would allow her to build her confidence and further develop her English language skills while also helping others.

Helping Fellow Refugees as a Volunteer Coordinator

Valentyna attended an information session at York Job Centre and met a representative of a refugee charity, which led to her becoming very interested in the role of Volunteer Coordinator. This was an ideal role for Valentyna as she had lived experience of being a refugee in York.

Following this, Jo supported Valentyna through the initial person specification and job description. She needed to show evidence of the required skills and experience in her application form.

Soon after, Valentyna secured a virtual interview for this position and practised for this together with Jo. She successfully used the STAR technique for answering questions and listed various examples to illustrate her suitability for the role.

After her first interview, Valentyna quickly received an invitation for a second, this time held in person. She utilised the Flexi Fund to purchase some new interview clothes and practised her answers to common interview questions with Jo.

We are delighted to share that Valentyna successfully secured the role of Volunteer Coordinator and is now helping others like herself settle into life in the UK.

Summarising her experience over the past few months, Valentyna said: “I’m really glad that I’ve applied for support from Making A Difference, particularly because of Jo. Her help was very useful and due to her, I got my first job in the UK. I am recommending this programme to everyone who is looking for a job.”

Career Guidance To Get You Where You Want To Be

Making a Difference is an initiative match-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). We help people of all ages find their way into work or training by providing tailored one-to-one guidance and support. Whether you are returning to work after a career break, considering working for the first time or simply want to try something new. We can help you figure out the next step for you.

Contact our friendly team to learn more and start your journey today!

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