AFTER dedicating 24 years of her life to working as a primary school receptionist, Joanne Berresford was left devastated when she was made redundant just over two years ago.
The hustle and bustle in the admin offices of Abbeydale Grange in Millhouses gave the 46-year-old a daily dose of joy.
But, when the school closed, she found herself out of work for the first time in more than two decades.
Joanne, from Handsworth, said: “It was awful, absolutely horrendous. I’d been there such a long time. It really deflates you. The school was closing down so it had been on the cards for a while, but you never think it is going to affect you. I absolutely loved my job. It was a smaller school and everybody got on, it was like a big family.”
Despite having qualifications in typing, a BTEC certificate, and experience of being a school private fund manager, not to mention a CV which shows she is the most loyal of employees, the mother-of-two has failed to find permanent employment.
Now, in a bid to encourage employers to give her a chance, Joanne has signed up to take part in The Star’s We Want to Work campaign.
We have teamed up with A4E, which delivers the Government’s Work Programme in Sheffield city centre, to give candidates the chance to showcase themselves.
She has not restricted herself in her job search and says she is willing to do ‘anything’ to get back to work.
Joanne said: “Financially it has been very difficult. My children are older but they still live at home. I can adapt and I get on with people well, I am good as part of a team. And I just really want to work.”
n If you are an employer with a vacancy which could suit Joanne, contact A4E on 0114 289 4700.