Newport volunteers want to help others find work

South Wales Argus: Project Support Workers with Communities First Newport West have benefited from jobs growth Wales.  Pictured outside Maesglas Coommunity Centre is Danielle Penn. (6445993) Project Support Workers with Communities First Newport West have benefited from jobs growth Wales. Pictured outside Maesglas Coommunity Centre is Danielle Penn. (6445993)

TWO Newport women who joined a Welsh Government scheme to help unemployed youngsters find work have said they want to help others in the same position.

Katrice Perrin, from Maesglas, and Danielle Penn, from Duffryn, had both been volunteers in the city before they signed up with Jobs Growth Wales, as youngsters who weren’t in education.

Miss Perrin, now 23, has been volunteering since she was 17 through joining a programme for youngsters not in education, employment or training.

It was through the project that she was recommended to apply for her current post as a project support worker with Communities First, through Jobs Growth Wales.

The Welsh Government scheme, aimed at unemployed youngsters under the age of 25, will pay their wages for a six-month placement with an organisation which has signed up, such as Communities First.

Communities First Newport West was so impressed with Miss Perrin it extended her placement for another three months and now pay her wages directly.

Miss Perrin said: “When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do, so volunteering gives you experience for a job.

“It’s very rare that you get people that enjoy their job, although there are unsociable hours.

“We both come from this area ourselves and we’ve see the community change, so to be able to help people is really good.”

Miss Penn, 21, started as a community engagement officer with Duffryn Community Link in February this year.

Now she works with Duffryn residents at allotments, organises after-school sports and dance sessions and “diversionary” workshops aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour. She has also set up her own dance session with backing from the Gwent High Sheriff’s fund, attended by 75 children.

“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she said.

Miss Perrin said organisations like Communities First always need volunteers.

“I couldn’t rate volunteering highly enough,” she added.

“I feel appreciated giving up my time for free so I still do volunteering on the side for that extra bit of satisfaction.

“[Communities First] have given me an opportunity to progress and develop.”

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