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Jackie heading in the right direction after Aspire to Be support

In an unfamiliar place with no job and mounting financial and mental health stress, Jackie Payne was losing hope.
She had moved to Doncaster from the south of England in July but was struggling to find employment. That was having a negative effect on her finances and her mental health. 
Then, Jackie was told about Aspire to Be. The specialist service from Doncaster Deaf Trust helps adults with learning disabilities and other difficulties gain life skills and employment.
She contacted the service, which provides a range of sessions including on topics like CV writing, interview techniques, job search activities and work experience opportunities, as well as fitness, healthy eating, budgeting and confidence building.
Jackie, 48, is deaf but has a voice and can lip read. In November, she met Aspire To Be Programme Manager Tina Rafferty, who advised how the service could support her.
Jackie had previous work experience supporting deaf students in SEN (Special Educational Needs) schools but wasn't sure how this would be relevant in her search for a new role.
"The Aspire to Be team were able to show me how my transferrable skills could be used in a variety of work environments which helped me widen my job search," Jackie said.

"Tina and her staff were always available and gave lots of support, key insights and ideas on how to move forward, which kept me going in the right direction. The team were friendly, well organised and always had time to talk."

Aspire to Be works with referring agencies such as local authorities, housing associations and job centres to provide people with a holistic programme incorporating education, employment and employability sessions alongside health and wellbeing support.
Jackie accessed sessions including how to build confidence and motivation and employability workshops.
"Positivity is built in everything they do and it was easy to build a good a relationship with all the team," Jackie said.
"I am happy to say that with the help of Aspire to Be I have started employment at Doncaster Deaf Trust as a Bank Pathway Learning Mentor. I will continue to look for full-time employment with their support."
Tina Rafferty from Aspire to Be, said: "We were thrilled to help Jackie at what was a difficult time for her and it's fantastic to see her happy and thriving in her new job.
"Sometimes people just need a little bit of guidance and support to recognise the skills they already have and build some others for the future."
Individuals can self refer to the Aspire to Be service and are encouraged to get in touch if they are looking for help and support.
To learn more about Aspire to Be, visit

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