Janet* has a passion for working with young people and she volunteers regularly at her local Youth Centre. Known for her great sense of humour, quick wit and caring nature, she relates well to young people and enjoys helping them connect with their community – but she hasn’t always had the confidence to do so herself.

Janet was in the prime of a great career when she was diagnosed with a physical illness. Soon after she was faced with the trauma of losing a child. As a result she became quite anxious and withdrawn.

It had been more than 15 years since Janet had actively engaged in her community when in October last year, through the help of Baptist Care SA’s Building Family Opportunities team, Janet decided to participate in their ‘Road Trip to the Future’ course.

“When I first met Janet, she said she felt as though she wasn’t good at anything and that she had failed in life. She was fearful of being friendly to others and engaging, in case she was rejected,” explained Program Manager, Carly.

Supported through WorkReady (Government of South Australia) and the City of Onkaparinga, ‘Road trip to the future you‘ takes participants on a journey to discover and explore their strengths and passions so that they can build on them to improve their employability skills.

Activities include updating resumes, digital and numeracy skills, interview skills, exploring the current job market and meeting potential employers.

The program is based in the local library to maximise access for ‘hard to reach’ community members and the opportunity to develop literacy support after the course’s completion.

“‘Road Trip’ helps participants build a personal ‘Road Map’ to establish where they are at, where they want to be and how they can get there. It’s all about connecting people to opportunities and helping them identify their value to the community,” said Carly.

After participating in the 10 week course, Janet was able to connect with others and regain her confidence and self-belief. She soon realised her strengths and passion for working with young people which inspired her to volunteer at the local Youth Centre.

“Everyone has had challenges. I make a difference now to others.”

She has expressed further interest in being part of future Baptist Care SA programs.

To find out more about the current Building Family Opportunities program portfolio, please contact Carly Hamilton on 0429 393 747 or chamilton@baptistcaresa.org.au

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