Case study - Chloe’s Story
Chloe first encountered Working Chance several years ago, through one of the charity’s employability workshops within prison. She was nearing the end of her sentence and wanted support and guidance on preparing to re-enter the world of work, with a conviction, and becoming financially independent.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous at the prospect of trying to find a good job with a conviction,” Chloe said. “But I was 100% willing to do whatever it took to get me there. I was chomping at the bit to get my life back on track and make something of myself.”
Chloe took part in a series of workshops covering everything she’d need to know, from how to write an impressive CV to disclosing a conviction in an interview – and she had a spark that soon caught the attention of the Working Chance team leading the workshops.
“I remember how impressed I was with Chloe’s unwavering determination to turn her life around and change her circumstances for the better,” says one Working Chance team member. “She was so upbeat and positive – it made having her participate in the workshops a real pleasure. She was also such an inspiration to the other women, which really helped.”
Thanks to Chloe’s strong work ethic and enthusiasm for gaining more experience, she was offered a volunteer placement in Working Chance’s London office, to complete on day release from prison in the run-up to her release. Chloe was soon getting up at the crack of dawn five days a week, to commute from the prison outside London to Working Chance’s office in Islington – and making the same long journey back in the evenings.
“It was strange coming and going between the two environments every day, but I loved it,” says Chloe. “I was really grateful to have the opportunity to prove myself, and especially with an organisation that helps women who’ve had similar experiences to me.”
Chloe soon became indispensable to Working Chance. It was quickly noticed that she had a way with both the women Working Chance supports and the employers the charity works with – warm, confident and supportive, but also ready to challenge people to do better when it was needed. She was offered a Trainee Recruitment Consultant position with Working Chance, and immediately accepted – still commuting from prison each day. Chloe was “over the moon” to be offered the role.
“Chloe was such a brilliant addition to our team – a real rising star,” says Working Chance’s Founder and Chief Executive, Jocelyn Hillman. “She’s tenacious, passionate and totally committed to doing her very best – exactly the kind of values we always aim to practise as an organisation, and that we want to instil in all the women we work with.”
That was four years ago. Chloe went on to successfully complete her traineeship, and was promoted to Recruitment Consultant around the same time she was released from prison – and was later promoted again to become a member of Working Chance’s senior management team. She’s now integral to the organisation’s continuing success – but she’s never forgotten how it all began.
“Every day, I’m reminded that all these women need is someone to give them a second chance so that they can thrive and exceed everyone’s expectations. I am living proof of the benefits of that kind of attitude – benefits not just for me, but for my family, my employer and society as a whole.”