TÚS employee/participant, Karen Gore, is the first female to join the Dublin North West Area Partnership’s Community Outreach Resource Team (C.O.R.T.). Karen has previously been employed in the catering profession but found herself unemployed for the last 5 to 6 years. When she received notice from the Department of Social Protection that she was to go forward to uptake a placement on the TÚS programme, she was very nervous and concerned.
“I felt physically sick attending the interview as I had been out of the workplace for so long and after awhile you just lose confidence in yourself and your abilities, you feel unsure about yourself and worry about how you come across and relate to other people”
Karen met with Anne Fitzgerald, Employment & Education Manager, to discuss the programme and to find out what was on offer. “I found Anne to be very friendly and helpful and she provided information about five different placements that I could probably uptake, but the one that stood out for me was the Dublin North West Area Partnership’s C.O.R.T. programme.”
Having previously only worked in a predominately female environment, Karen is the first female to work with the C.O.R.T. team. “ Initially I was concerned about fitting in with an all male team and worried that the guys might not like having a woman on the team but it proved to be the opposite to my fears”.
Over the last eight months Karen has been heavily involved with the manual work of house maintenance for the elderly. This involves garden maintenance, painting, putting up handrails and cleaning gutters.
“I have found great confidence in myself and I would have no doubts promoting other women to venture into the kind of programme I am working in. I really enjoy my work and I also come in handy with the ladders as some of the guys are afraid of heights”
C.O.R.T. manager Gerry Tyson said the elderly people Karen had carried out maintenance work for had nothing but praise for her and some now even consider her a friend.