The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation dedicated to helping former mining towns and communities, has given previously unemployed Athersley resident, Sue Cater, the opportunity to secure full and part-time freelance work as a result of the Communities that Work Programme.

After completing a teaching qualification at Northern College, Sue was lacking the confidence she needed to secure a permanent position in the education sector.

Approaching the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Sue began working as a volunteer in the CRT Coach clubs alongside Community Employment and Enterprise Coach, Helen Murphy, assisting in the delivery of workshops that would support residents in Athersley which promotes Barnsley’s employer promise and task group focus to:

Enabling residents to get ready for work, get into work and get on in work - to develop their skills and reach their potential.   

Working with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and helping other local people who were seeking volunteering, employment and training opportunities, Sue was able to see a positive change in her own attitude and capabilities

As a result of the work that she completed alongside the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Sue was able to access a work experience placement and received the support she needed to complete a further educational qualification, which would allow her to take the step to teach in local schools.

Sue Cater, comments: “Thanks to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Communities that Work Programme I had the opportunity to volunteer and to use the skills I learnt to progress with a career in teaching. This has made all the difference in allowing me to find paid employment. I’m incredibly grateful to Helen and the whole team as they made me feel at ease.

Helen Murphy, Sue’s Employment and Community Coach for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “There is no better mentor than Sue herself as she is able to draw on her own experiences with the people she is helping today. Sue is a great example of what we can achieve by working together.”

“Sue’s success just goes to show that the work we do across coalfield communities has a positive and often life-changing impact for those who we are able to reach out to.”

After gaining the skills, confidence and qualifications needed by working alongside the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Sue has now been able to find paid tutoring work in both a freelance and part time capacity.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust launched the Communities that Work Programme over twelve months ago, highlighting Athersley as one of five key areas that the organisation would focus resources on and deliver strategic support to.

The programme now facilitates two CRT coach clubs for developing local skills, volunteering and employability sessions for residents and aims to address and tackle head-on the long standing social and economic problems which persist in the area by engaging the community. “Through the coach clubs jobsearch activity becomes a social activity and thus an engagement tool for communities”

The Communities that Work Programme focuses on coalfield areas that continue to suffer from acute deprivation and alongside residents develops a bespoke plan of action to tackle the many and varied challenges they face that typically fall into three priorities for action; employment, skills and health