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Petros goes the extra mile to support Queen, a Fair Start Scotland participant.

Queen was illiterate, which proved to be a barrier to her finding sustainable employment.

Petros recognised Queen's barriers to work, and went above and beyond to support her by personally applying for vacancies in local businesses.

A single mother-of-three who is illiterate in both English and Nigerian, Queen needed significant support to find a job once she had moved to Scotland from her native Nigeria.

She had found it incredibly difficult to secure employment in the past, with many barriers stopping her reach her goal of finding sustainable employment to help support her family and develop her confidence. Thanks to Fair Start Scotland and the personalised support of her Personal Adviser, Petros Mersinis, Queen’s fortunes soon turned around.

Upon hearing Queen’s story, Petros not only took it as his responsibility to find Queen sustainable employment but also to act as her mentor for life in the UK.

His first step was to register Queen with City of Edinburgh Council so that she could attend free lessons to learn reading and writing in English. She was also supported with creating a CV that she could then share with potential employers.

Petros identified that Queen might be eligible for a grant through Turn2us, a national charity providing support to those suffering from financial hardship. The application was successful: a tearful and grateful Queen received a sum of £750.

Queen attended our offices to apply for vacancies, but not yet being able to read and write made the process extremely difficult. Petros therefore decided the best use of his time was to personally walk around the local neighbourhood and talk to potential employers with Queen. Petros explained Queen’s situation to local employers and agreed to act as her main point of contact should they agree to offer her employment. He also offered to support her with any forms she might have to fill in as part of the application stage.

After visiting a few local employers, Queen and Petros met with local Italian restaurant, L’artigiano. Queen was asked if she could start work that very day, which she did! Queen is now working 20 hours per week in her new role as a Kitchen Porter. She is extremely happy with her new job and the excellent support she received from our Fedcap Scotland team, not least Petros who was prepared to literally go the extra mile to help her. Way to go Petros!


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