According to Carer’s UK there are 6.5 million carers in the UK. However, the figure is thought to be much higher with hidden caring a big issue. Behind closed doors millions of people are providing unpaid care every day. The many scenarios’ people and families face are not simply about looking after elderly relatives and affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Even for those who claim the carers allowance the amount is the lowest allowance of it’s’ kind. Not only are carer’s livelihoods affected but options and freedoms in all other areas of their lives can be hugely affected.
Society does not value caring as it should. The NHS and the social security system have long been propped up by relatives and friends stepping in to plug the gap. Even professional Carers are often lowly paid and on zero hours/part time contracts. It is seen traditionally as an unskilled, low status and mostly female occupation and certainly not as a career. The emotional, financial, physical and practical effects of caring can upturn the life of individuals and families and the long term and knock-on effects can be enormous and long term.
The toll of caring is not only practical, and the psychological and emotional fall out can impact strongly on how the carer sees themselves and their worth out in the world. As they juggle with the commitments of caring both in terms of time, energy and emotional input something has to give and something has to be sacrificed. Carers often feel guilty about expressing how they are feeling or do not have contacts with people in the same situation and so become isolated which further compounds the negative effects of their commitments.
Against all this societal background, being seen simply as the extension and enabler of another person’s life often erodes the carer’s self-esteem. They can feel helpless, hopeless, undervalued, unseen and trapped. Their own plans and aspirations need to take a back seat against the demands of caring and the needs of the person they are helping. Airing and exploring the experiences and feelings of this intense and complicated position with those who understand is a crucial outlet. Additionally, reclaiming identity, worth and aspirations can help carers overcome negative feelings to find traction to move forward in their own lives.
Our bespoke experiential self-esteem workshops are specifically designed with this in mind. Offering a safe and non-judgemental arena shared with others with similar experiences gives those attending a feeling of community with a sense of being heard, understood and validated. Our workshops aim to empower a hidden and sometimes forgotten community and to support and encourage whatever plans and aspirations they may have in their own lives aside from the role of carer.
Research has shown that people who are 50 years plus are more likely to experience long-term unemployment. Age discrimination and being over qualified are some of the fundamental reasons why.
In 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research did a study in which they found that there is over a 50% chance that a person who is 40+ is less likely to be offered a job than someone who is younger, if ages were revealed at the recruitment stage. As a result, a person who is 50+ is more likely to be unemployed for at least two years if they lose their job.
In addition to the above, recent data provided by the HMRC highlights that the percentage of under 25s on furlough has decreased whereas the over 55s has increased, suggesting that younger workers are being favoured to return to work first.
Given the above, there seems to be no better time than now for people who fall within the older age bracket to start their own business. In fact, the last 5 years has seen an increase in the number of people who are 65+ starting their own business, with figures doubling in the UK alone.
Whilst the prospect can be both daunting and challenging, the benefits of taking such a leap can be very rewarding and fulfilling. It can provide an opportunity to turn a hobby or a passion into a thriving business and/or do the type of work that gives a strong sense of purpose. Furthermore, 80% of new start-ups by people who are 50+ are doing it for the first time. This is encouraging and shows that it is never too late to learn, create and be your own boss.
Enterprise Junction is a charity that offers free online self-employment courses for people who are 50+. For more information please visit our website; enterprisejunction.org.uk or email; Helen@enterprisejunction.org.uk
More than ever, people are no longer prepared to spend the whole of their working lives in unfulfilling and thankless job roles. Working hard to line somebody else’s pocket is not a satisfying option.
Furthermore, the state pension age is likely to increase to 67 by 2028 and so people are starting to think more about a career change later on in life.
According to Age UK the number of self-employed people aged 65 and over has more than doubled in the past five years.
To be self-employed means so much more than just being your own boss, it is an opportunity to pursue a lifelong ambition and become the true version of who you are. For some people just having flexibility alone means that life is more enjoyable because it enables them to have a better work / life balance.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), state that the self-employed have higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of anxiety than employees.
As more people are looking to become self-employed, it is more important than ever to develop your business skills and knowledge and have a support system in place.
Our free online training proposition is aimed at men and women who are 50 years or over. You will receive guidance and support from both a Business Advisor and a Case Manager. You will learn how to build and manage your own business through workbooks, online communication and workshops.
The work that we do is supported by the amazing National Lottery and Sussex Community Foundation.
To learn more about Enterprise Junction you can listen to one of our Head Trainers, Phil Ashford being interviewed by Chris West on Academy Thanet FM’s breakfast Radio show on 2nd March 2021. Phils also discusses the online self-employment course that we will be running for men and women who are 50yrs or over in the East Sussex and Kent area funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Press play to listen to the interview. Thank you!
Enterprise Junction are very pleased to announce their latest free online self-employment course which will start around mid-March to early April 2021. There are 10 spaces available and all participants must fulfil the stated criteria e.g. Female, 50yrs or over and live in the Lewes District.
The challenges that a lot of people are facing in these difficult times are huge. The impact of which is felt both financially and emotionally and more than ever people are looking at ways to become more self-reliant. The objective of our course is to help the participant become more independent and start their journey as self-employed.
All participants must have a good standard of IT and literacy skills. As part of the course participants will receive the following:
“I am delighted that we are able to offer this free online course.” - Said Michelle Gibbins, Chairperson of Enterprise Junction. “Knowing that it has the potential to change a life is what drives both me and my fellow colleagues. We are very grateful for the support of Sussex Community Foundation because without their funding we would not be able to provide such a fantastic opportunity.”
Application forms can be obtained by emailing email@example.com
In early 2020, Enterprise Junction launched a new training programme to support young people across East Sussex with an opportunity to start their own business. The participants, aged between 16 and 25, completed a programme of eight days training on topics ranging from “how enterprise helps the local community” to “what skills are needed to become self-employed”. In addition, participants had the opportunity to attend a one to one mentoring/coaching session with a trained business facilitator to develop their strategy and set realistic goals and targets.
As well as increasing their levels of confidence and self-esteem, participants gained a clear focus and direction which helped them to develop ideas for a start-up business. One participant said she had “Learnt more about setting up and running my own business and the pros and cons of being self-employed”.
Enterprise Junction, in association with The People’s Postcode were intending to roll out the scheme across East Sussex with particular emphasis on working with young people not in education, employment or training but unfortunately the programme was halted at the end of March due to Covid-19. Like many charities, Enterprise Junction faced an uncertain future as the longer term impact of the pandemic started to become more apparent. Luckily for them, The People’s Postcode showed remarkable perspicacity when, towards the end of May, they informed grant holders that any funds that remained unspent from their original grants could be “unrestricted” and used for whatever was needed most.
Benna McCartney, business coach said, “The forward thinking and generosity of The Postcode Lottery has been a lifeline to small charities like ourselves. Thanks to them we have been able to retain key members of staff and develop new ways of delivering our programmes that will benefit future participants”.
A new way to empower young people into work
Sussex-based charity, Enterprise Junction, is launching a new training programme across East Sussex in January 2020, to support young people between the ages of 16 to 25 with a life-changing opportunity to start their own business or to develop the skills and experience they need to move into employment.
Funded through The Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner’s Community Safety Fund, Sussex Community Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund, the programme will be run in Hastings, Eastbourne and Newhaven and consists of four one-day courses together with one to one sessions with a mentor. The programme, which has an emphasis on confidence building and self-esteem, covers the risks, rewards and legalities of self-employment, how to plan for success, easy to manage finance and social media and marketing. Alongside all this, participants will have a fantastic opportunity to use their own ideas to create a real-life money-making project.
Said Phil Ashford, business coach, “We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with young people across East Sussex to provide the training and support they need to enable them to do something they are passionate about and fulfil their potential. We recognise that many young people feel intimidated by mainstream business support, but our coaches and mentors understand the particular barriers they face, and use tried and tested techniques to help them overcome these challenges. We are extremely grateful to all our funders who have made this inspirational programme possible.”
Participants on the programme will benefit from increased levels of confidence and self-esteem, a clear focus and direction together with a realistic set of goals and targets. They will also increase their business knowledge and skills and learn about funding opportunities and how to access them.
If you are aged between 16 and 25 and would like to boost your business skills, learn more about self-employment and enhance your C.V. then please apply early by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ruth on 07508 277371 for an informal chat about what’s involved. No qualifications or experience are required to join the programme, but places are limited so please get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
We're delighted to report that our Trustees continue to work behind the scenes to putting everything in place for the early stage development of Enterprise Junction. Our bank account has been opened and we're looking at some exciting funding opportunities for 2019.