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Here are just a few of our success stories:

David's Story

David was helped back into work by the Shirlie project after a life changing accident in Adu Dhabi 10 years ago.  His story was recently published in the November edition of the Big Lottery magazine. 

Please follow the link below to  read his story.



Lesley's Story

Lesley is the receptionist for the Shirlie Project and works on a Wednesday and Thursday.  She has been with the company for over two years and is responsible for the smooth running of the office as well as certain admin tasks.  Prior to working for Shirlie things were quite different for Lesley as she explains it was after watching a news report on North Tonight that helped her make some big decisions that changed her life.

How did you first hear about the Shirlie Project.

Well I was living in Aberdeen and watching TV one night when the Shirlie Project was featured on ‘North Tonight’.  They talked about how they supported people back into employment and they showed a couple of clients one of whom was a woman who suffered from MS (multiple sclerosis).  It was clear that they had made a difference to the people featured and I thought when I move to Inverness, I’m going to contact them and see what they can do for me’.

So obviously you did get in touch.

Yes as soon as I arrived in Inverness I made the phone call.  A job coach came out and visited me and within a short timescale I was ‘being profiled’ by the guy I had seen on television!  I was lucky in the sense that at the time I was looking for a job, Shirlie was looking for a part time receptionist.  I started with what was initially work experience for 2 or 3 weeks and then I was offered a job’.

What difference has the Shirlie Project made to your life?

‘My aim was to get back to work.  I had been away from the working environment for some time and felt that I really needed to get my confidence back as well as be able to ease myself in gently.  Now 6 months on my confidence has grown and I feel relaxed and that I am making a contribution’.

How are you enjoying your job?

I love it!  The staff have all made me feel welcome and I feel part of the team. 
 I know what’s expected of me when I arrive and the additional tasks are increasing my administrative skills’.

How do you feel about becoming ‘The face of Shirlie’!

Well if I’m honest, not happy at first.  I’m not the kind of person who enjoys the attention but everybody has been so kind and helpful to me that I wanted to give something back.  People seem to be happy with the photograph and they want to use it so that’s ok by me.’

It is clear the difference that the Shirlie Project has made to Lesley but as her line manager Ann Lee stated it is definitely a two way process.  ‘Lesley has made a significant contribution to the Shirlie office.  She has a warm personality which suits the role of receptionist perfectly and has fitted in well with the team.  She may have only been with us for a short time but we don’t know what we’d do without her!’

With thanks to Lesley for her time during this interview.

Dean's Story

Dean is employed at Turner Hire based in Inverness as a Valeter.  He has been with the company for about a year and it's clear that he finds the job very fulfilling.  "It's a busy job with a tight schedule" he says, " I work with a great bunch of guys who are fun to be around.  I'm kept going all day but I really do enjoy coming to work". 

Dean first heard about the Shirlie Project when he visited the Job Centre in his search for a job.  He said " Finding a job was difficult and I really needed some help in finding a suitable job.  The Job Centre put me in touch with the Shirlie Project and I had an initial interview and then met my job coach.  I really like Fiona my job coach she's good fun to be with and she's helped me get a really good job.  She helped me learn the job by breaking down the tasks which made it much easier for me to learn." 

Certainly the method of profiling used by the Shirlie Project is effective in terms that it works on their clients' aspirations, which means that the job coach finds a job that their client is interested in and motivated by rather than just job matching.  It is clear that Dean has grown in confidence and is a competent and valued member of the Turner Hire team.  His manager stated "Dean is doing well and we're happy to have him as part of the team.  If there were any issues then we know that the Shirlie Project is just a phone call away and things can be resolved easily". 

With thanks to Dean, Dave and the staff at Turner Hire.