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Connect 2

October 2nd 2009
A scheme designed to give former addicts and homeless people the chance to work within the social care sector has proven a success in South Lanarkshire. The Connect 2 programme, which is run by the local council, offers a six-month course specifically devised for residents who may have faced addiction problems or homelessness in the past to secure jobs. The course consists of a four week pre-employment programme guaranteeing that participants are ready for the world of work when the scheme is complete, followed by a work placement and study towards their SVQ level 3 in Health & Social Care. The final part of the course focuses on the personal development of participants and job searching for opportunities in the care sector. The scheme is the only one in the UK to train and mentor participants before securing them work placements and a recognised qualification. Participants receive face-to-face support throughout the course, with weekly support meetings to discuss progress and training needs. Peter Shiels, Connect 2 Training Co-ordinator said: "Participants receive support with their personal development to build up their confidence and motivation. We provide a range of support tailored to meet the needs of each individual. We even have mentors to help participants adjust to the wholesale change Connect 2 brings about in their lives. In many cases we're working with people who wouldn't normally have been able to access the chances they're now experiencing without the help of Connect 2." One person who has benefited from the programme is Khrosow, who came to the UK from Iran in 1979 to study engineering before opening a takeaway in Motherwell after failing to get a career in engineering underway. As a result of not being able to work in his chosen field, Khrosow's life descended into addiction to drink and drugs for a number of years. An assault at work further contributed to Khosrow losing his business and he admits to looking for an excuse not to work, blaming everyone but himself for his predicament. Seven years ago, however, Khrosow decided to turn his life around by tackling his addiction head on and becoming sober. He carried out some volunteer work with SOLVE, the Scottish Drugs Forum and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Finally in May 2008, he started the Connect 2 Programme which has increased his confidence and employability considerably. "The course quickly made me feel that doors were opening for me. Being part of the programme has helped me rebuild self-esteem, confidence and motivation. My employability skills have been brought up to date whilst my learning development and social skills have received a big boost,"he said. After completing the programme, Khrosow secured a job and is currently employed at Lifeways in Cambuslang, and has volunteered as a drink and drugs counsellor at Phoenix Futures. "I would encourage anyone who wants to turn their life around to get involved in the Connect 2 programme," he said. To date, over 80 per cent of Connect 2 participants have gone on to secure jobs with the likes of homeless units, youth work, drug support agencies and care homes. ‚Äö?Ѭ¢ If interested, contact Peter Shiels on 01698 453652 or

October 2009



A fresh approach

Grim discovery in Kent

Dispersal zone extended at Waterloo

Official headcount drops to 464

HRH at 999

Stop stop-and-search

Death in Peterborough

Tory councils to cut spending on services

Soup Run Forum news

Recession bites Bury - and beyond

Cardiff sees rise in homeless migrants

A Finsbury fortune

Alaskan deaths raise alarm

Essex clown dies

French "tramp game" sparks controversy

Homeless doll for the rich

Hard work to meet Scotland’s 2012 target

Housing in hard times

Street Shield 8: The Tunnels

Mad about film

A Don deal?

On a mission

Homeless film in Fife

Connect 2

Void of imagination

Haunted graffiti


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484