Job Success For CashBack Participant Darren
Fri 24th February 2023
Prior to starting on the Rangers Charity Foundation’s CashBack for Communities ‘Towards New Futures’ course at Ibrox Darren Price had been struggling to find a job.
Initially beginning one of the Foundation’s Ready for Employment courses, Darren became involved with the CashBack programme. The project aims to re-engage young people with current or past convictions and help them move towards a more positive future and Darren hasn’t looked back since he finished up on the course.
After completing the eight-week programme Darren was successful in applying for a role as a cleaner with Office Cleaning Services Limited and he can now be found working around Ibrox as he cleans up the stadium during the week.
With Darren now in stable employment, he took time to sit down and speak about his journey through CashBack.
Reflecting on how he was feeling prior to starting the course Darren said: “[Before starting the programme] I was just struggling to get anything going for me and I was just looking to get myself a job or anything like that really. It was a real problem for me at the time because I was looking for jobs but nothing was coming from it.
“I was on a Ready for Employment course with the Foundation before I moved over to CashBack. [Foundation staff] asked if I would be up for going through CashBack instead to see if that would help me and I was really keen to start it and hopefully get something out of it by the end.”
Darren went on to say that he is now able to see a massive difference in himself since completing the course.
Looking back at how he was feeling before he started the programme Darren said: “I was a bit nervous when I first started the course because I’ve always been quite an anxious person but each time I went I could feel myself coming out my shell a bit more. It really helped me build up my confidence and it also really helped me build on my CV skills and things that would help me get a job.”
The course is delivered by the Foundation’s CashBack Coordinator, Derek Rhoddan and Community Executive, Andy Gordon. Darren said the delivery of the course and the help he received were a key part in helping him succeed:
“Derek and Andy really helped me a lot to become more confident in myself. They guided me through the whole course but also helped me overcome some of my anxiety and nervousness and now I’m a lot more confident thanks to them.”
“When I first started the course, I really didn’t see myself opening up and improving my skills as much as I did. I thought I would get some help with stuff but to see such a big difference in myself I really didn’t expect it.”
With the eight-week course behind him Darren was starting to look ahead and see what was next when a job opportunity presented itself to him.
Darren explained how the opportunity came up: “After I had finished the course Derek had asked me if I’d be interested in the opportunity with OCS as a cleaner at Ibrox and I felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go for the job.
“The Foundation team really helped me improve myself from an employability perspective because when I first started the course my CV really wasn’t great. They helped me with it a lot and it obviously it paid off.”
The CashBack programme includes a variety of formal and industry recognised awards (including utilising the Foundation’s SQA Centre status), vocational work experience and the development of core skills which will greatly enhance their employment prospects and CVs.
Darren was successful in applying for the role with OCS and is now working in and around Ibrox on a regular basis.
Asked what advice he would have for anyone else thinking about joining the Foundation’s CashBack programme, he said: “I’d just say to people that it’s really important that you listen to the coordinators and follow what they say because they’re there to help you and if you listen and take everything in then you’ll give yourself a good chance to succeed.”
Community Programmes Manager at the Foundation, Jamie Duncanson was delighted to see Darren have a successful outcome from the course saying: “Our CashBack – Towards New Futures programme is an extremely positive initiative that supports young people who have been involved within the criminal justice system and allows them to change their lives for the better in line with their career aspirations.
“With this programme being eight weeks, we were able to engage Darren with our CashBack to support him for a sustained period. He fully engaged with the programme and following the great work from our staff addressing any barriers, progressed into employment within the Club which we were delighted about.”
CashBack Participants will improve their physical and mental health by taking part in accredited fitness and coaching sessions and a mental health first aid course. The initiative includes a variety of formal and industry recognised awards (including utilising the Foundation’s SQA Centre status), vocational work experience and the development of core skills which will greatly enhance their employment prospects and CVs.