Her journey to the Help Hero award started when she engaged with the Step by Step programme. This is a programme run by Kirklees Council's Employment and Skills Team, who working in partnership support Kirklees residents who are out of work and on benefits into employment, training or volunteering.
Tracey, was by her own admission wanting to change her life, but felt nobody would ever give her a chance of paid employment. On entering the programme, Tracey received 1-2-1 support and a work experience opportunity was arranged at her local B&M store.
On completion of her work experience, she received a glowing reference. With no job opportunities open at the time, Tracey continued to work unpaid to continue learning ‘retail’ and improve her self-confidence.
Two months later, when a part time opportunity presented itself, she applied, was interviewed and was successful in getting back into employment. Her good news story continued as a few months into her employment when head office presented her with a Help Hero award. This is an internal reward scheme for employees who go above and beyond in customer care.
Unbeknown to Tracey, a disabled customer that she served was so impressed with the effort she made to ensure a good shopping experience, that she phoned up head office to praise her afterwards.
Tracey was awarded a shopping voucher and recognised for her good work. She says she does not recognise the Tracey that first went to Step by Step and looks forward to going into work and has a more positive attitude to life. Her anxiety and depression are now under control and she has since inspired her daughter to engage in work experience in the hope of following in her mums footsteps.