A SUNDERLAND woman who was helped into work by a city job club has returned the favour by helping it gain a £3,000 grant.
Maria Cires, from Ford Estate, found a job with Lloyds Bank after receiving help from Pallion Action Group Job Club.
In return, Maria nominated the club for a community award from a fund run by her new employer.
Maria, 36, had worked in a bank in her native Romania, but lacked the confidence to pursue a career in banking in this country.
“I was getting temporary work as a cleaner,” she said. “But I wanted something more permanent and secure.
“We lived near Pallion Action Group and when I heard about the job club, I decided to pop in to find out more.
“They helped me improve my CV by identifying the skills and experience I should focus on.
“Role play improved my self-confidence and prepared me for interviews.”
The job club receives most of its funding from Sunderland City Council’s West Area Committee.
Chairman Coun Peter Gibson said: “The main role of each of the area committees is to work with local people to identify the main issues concerning them, and then to work on those issues with our community partners.
“Helping more unemployed people into work, training or education is one of those issues, and it’s through voluntary and community sector organisations like the Pallion Action Group that we can achieve this.
“It is fantastic news this community work has received national recognition from Lloyds Bank Community Fund.
“I’m sure the grant will be put to good use helping even more local people into work through the job club.”