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Success Stories

When you're as proud of what you do as we are, it's hard not to shout about it. We have some amazing stories to tell, from businesses to regular people that we have helped and worked with. These are our latest success stories...

Ian's Story | 16/9/16


Ian was referred to CWP in November 2015. When he attended his initial appointment he was unsure of how CWP would be of benefit to him as he had been on courses via the Job Centre before and didn’t feel that these courses had been very useful to him. He was also concerned about how he could do the job search element of the programme as he couldn’t read or write. He spoke individually with Diane, Libby and Imran who reassured him that he would receive support wherever possible to undertake his job search and placement.

When attending job search, Ian sat on a PC on a row close to the Advisors so that he could receive support when required without having to ask in front of the other customers. Ian is a very friendly and bubbly character who was very popular with other customers on programme and it was a testament to his character and outgoing personality that none of the other customers were aware of the issues with his reading and writing.

Ian started a placement at Moorlands Plastics and the manager and his colleagues thought he was brilliant. He was very motivated and hardworking and well-liked by everyone he worked with. When Moorlands Plastics closed, Ian moved onto a placement at Barnsley Hospice Warehouse. Again, he fitted in perfectly with his colleagues and was a valued member of the team.

He continued his job search and attended an induction with Premdor for a warehouse role. He had worked for them in the past and had enjoyed the role, but unfortunately it had only been a temporary position. He was successful at his induction and was offered employment with them on 12th May 2016. Ian keeps in touch with the Barnsley office on a regular basis to update on how he is progressing and called in recently to let us know that he had just signed a permanent contract with the company as he had been with them for 12 weeks. He is really happy in his role and has got to know most of the staff and forge good working relationships with them.

We asked Ian how he felt about his time on CWP and whether looking back he felt that it had helped him. He said, “It got me out and about and gave me something to do. I met new people and I got on really well with them. I like working in a team and really enjoyed the placements that I did. I’m glad that I’m now back in work and not on benefits any more”.



Diane's Story | 16/9/16

Diane had been unemployed for four years before transferring onto ESA due to health issues. Following on from an assessment, she was then moved back onto JSA and referred onto CWP. Initially she was unsure whether the programme would be suitable for her, but after attending job search sessions in hub, and receiving support from staff in Barnsley, she began to change her outlook. She met with Diane (Placement Officer) who spoke to her about placements in the care sector as this was where her previous experience lay.

Whilst waiting for her DBS check to come through so that she could undertake a placement in this field, she continued focused job search.  Libby and Imran supported her to complete online job applications and to update her CV and cover letter.  Diane’s motivation increased, and when we spoke to her about short training courses that were running in centre she was keen to undertake these. She attended and passed Food Hygiene, First Aid at Work, Health and Safety and Moving and Handling courses. All of these qualifications were relevant to the roles that she was applying for.

Her determination to move back into employment was rewarded when she gained employment at St. James’ Court, a local care home, on 9th May 2016. Diane has really flourished in her role, so much so that she has now been promoted to Senior Carer on the nightshift. She is responsible for supporting and supervising staff on the residential unit and overseeing the care of the residents.

Diane came into the office to see us recently and she is so much more confident and positive about things. We asked her how she felt now that she’s back in work and she replied, “Brilliant. I was depressed being unemployed as I had always enjoyed working. I’m now back into the routine of work, and my friends and family keep commenting on how much healthier and happier I look. I enjoy going to work and have made new friends there. I love being part of the team”.



Tina Johnson suceeds at B&Q | 20/6/16

Tina Johnson suceeds at B&Q


Kerry Ward, Tina's adviser said:

"Tina was a pleasure to work with. She gradually became very motivated to find work and was open to exploring new avenues of employment. It was lovely to see her grow in confidence and recognise her potential.

Tina has now got a feeling of achievement and this has improved her quality of life. Her whole personality has changed, she is outgoing and confident."


Mel Webster, B&Q Store Manager and Tina's line manager, said:

" Tina stood out from the crowd during the assessment day with myself. She had a natural warmth about her, good listening skills and came across as honest and hardworking, and wanted a chance to work within a large organisation like B&Q, to unlock her potential and get her career back on track. She is a very committed and driven individual.

Tina is an assett to the team. She has exceptional attitude and behaviours and is highly regarded for her role model professional behaviour and positive mind-set.She is reliable and demonstrates our minimum expectation levels of customer service every day.

She has won numerous service awards in store and customer feedback describes her as friendly, great conversationalist, polite, helpful and her service is always displayed with a smile.

Tina takes two buses each day to travel to the store which takes one and a half hours. She covers sickness and holidays at short notice. She is a mum who has strived to better herself after a twenty year career break, which I believe takes guts and courage to adapt back into the working environment with ease, like she has demonstrated."

Lesley Winnard, Employer Engagement Officer, Phoenix Enterprises

"Upon visiting Tina at B&Q to chat to her about the publication and take photographs of her work, I found her to be extremely humble and oblivious to the fact she had achieved anything extrodinary or special and seemed surprised that her modest story should be of interest to anyone. It is commendable that Tina has gone to great lengths to secure and sustain work given the challenges she faces." 



















Jake's Story | 20/6/16

Jake's Story

Jake was referred to the Community Work Placement in February 2015. Jake has previously only had ad hoc work on zero hour contracts but has been unable to secure enough hours for him to sign off jobseeker's allowance.

Jake is 24 years old and was frustrated at being on job seeker's allowance and not having enough money to move out of his family home, and gain independence. Jake felt like a statistic and was fed up of being classed as a "NEET".

Paid employment will help Jake move forward with his goals and gain independence. Whilst on programme Jake has received support in enhancing his CV, job search and applications, securing job interviews and job interview preparation.

An employer contacted our Phoenix Doncaster office requesting assistance with finding a suitable candidate for a sales assistant. This was passed onto Employer Account Executive Caroline Gair who contacted the employer to arrange interviews.

Jake was put forward for the position and with Phoenix's assistance and guidance was sucessful in getting the job!

He said 'If it wasn't for Phoenix I wouldn't have been aware of this position or prepared for an interview. Caroline prepared me for my first interview running through interview questions and Colin did the same for the second interview. I am obviously really happy to get employment and want to thank everyone at Phoenix"

We wish Jake all the very best and feel he will be a great addition to the team at Pitstop 3 Filling Station!



Andrew's Story | 20/6/16

Andrew's Story

'I joined the Community Work Placement after being unemployed for 4 years. I had been applying for jobs with no joy in even getting a reply for an interview.

I joined Phoenix Enterprises the week before Christmas 2015 and in January 2016 I had an interview and joined Bridge Housing on 6th January 2016, and offered employment to start April 2016.

I have Diane Greenwood to thank and Libby, who helped me get the job.'


Darren's Story | 20/6/16

Darren's Story

'I was referred to Phoenix Enterprises to attend the Community Work Placement by my Jobcentre Plus Advisor. Diane, the CWP Placement officer quickly arranged a work placement interview for me at Priory Campus, where I would be on placement as Assistant Caretaker. I worry when having to go to interviews and I asked questions. I had never had a paid job before this, even though I have attended various courses and work placemements.

I started placement on the 5th October 2015, I was nervous about starting as I knew I would be meeting new people. My placement was due to end in April 2016 and on the 7th April I was offered a permanent paid job due to start on Monday 11th April - on my Birthday!'


Tracey's Story | 3/9/15

traceys story

Tracey had never had paid work due to raising family and being a busy mum.  Earlier this year, Tracey was referred to Phoenix Enterprises , through the Community Work Placement. With not knowing what to expect, Tracey was undecided about the job role she wanted to pursue. Tracey had no previous work experience so was open minded to the placements which were on offer.

What Tracey said.........

The team at Phoenix talked to Me about a placement within retail charity and she decided that this was something she would like to try.

In preparation to starting a placement, Phoenix referred Me to a Level 2 customer service and retail course and this gave me an insight in to retail. I felt it prepared me for my placement and although I was nervous on my first day, I had an awareness of what to expect. 

I started at Pass it On in March, and in May this year, I applied for a position within Pass it On as a Retail Assistant.............and I got the job!!! 

Hard work and enthusiasm  can get anyone anywhere….plus a little help from Phoenix can make all the difference. All jobseekers can achieve, as long as they are willing to put in commitment









Michelle's Story | 3/9/15


  Michelles story

Michelle And Hayley

I have been unemployed since 2003 since developing a knee condition which made it difficult for me to find employment. I was referred to the Community Work Placement in December 2014.  I was low in confidence and relying on medication I felt I needed support to find a job and build my confidence.

Phoenix placed me at ReRead in Askern as a Library Assistant on a placement in February this year. Colin (The Placement Officer) recognized my skills and abilities and suggested this placement as being more appropriate to develop my skills further.

I am almost finished on CWP and I am still receiving medical treatment for my condition. I am hopeful to be on my feet soon, but feel the experience of my placement has put me in a far better position of finding a job. 

My confidence has grown, and I am going to continue as a volunteer in a supervisory position when my manager is unavailable.

‘Thank You’ Colin, Michelle, Rob & Cat ,for the help you’ve provided in helping me develop my skills and my work experience. And I'd like to thank Hayley and the rest of the volunteers at Askern library for giving me an opportunity to work with them.

Hayley Doyle, Library Manager, said to us that Michelle has been an absolute star and I have learnt new IT skills from her as she is a whizz. Her customer service skills are a real asset.








Jordans Story | 3/9/15

Jordan's story so far.........

I have no previous work experience and having just left the Work Programme, I was referred to Phoenix Enterprises to participate on the Community Work Placement. My Adviser at the job centre thought this would be a good way to get some work experience. I left 6th form in 2012, and I haven't been able to get a job and I think my lack of work experience has been my barrier. 

I had a one to one with Michelle to discuss my options for a placement and I was referred for a retail / admin role but quite surprised when Michelle suggested that after seeing my IT skills I would be better suited for an admin role to develop these skills further. She arranged for me to meet my placement provider first and then asked me if it would be something I would like to do.

I felt happy to be given a choice.

My first day was quite scary, I wasn't sure what I would be doing or what it would be like but after my first morning, I felt so much better and the people have been really nice.

I am doing lots of admin and this has helped me make up my mind to what I want to do. I feel I have always been pushed towards customer service and CWP has helped me decide that Admin is where I want to go. Phoenix has given me the opportunity I needed in helping me to gain the relevant skills.


Naomi's Story | 31/7/15


What Naomi had to say……… 

I was referred to  Phoenix Enterprises on The Community Work Placement by the Jobcentre in February 2015.

Not having worked since 2007, my confidence in my ability to work was low and I had no clear direction of what I wanted to do.

When I started the programme, Michelle  the Placement Officer had a one on one with me and talked to me about an Admin Assistants position at Kingswood Activity Centre. She tailored my previous experience of working in the family business and felt it would be an ideal opportunity for me to develop my skills and improve my confidence.

I went for my first day feeling nervous and not knowing what to expect, but this did not last as I was warmly welcomed by Karen Dunwell and her team. I began to learn new skills such as using databases, Safeguarding and Data Protection amongst a wide variety of skills which were transferred to my CV with the help of Rob and Cat the Employability Coaches at Phoenix.. 

In June this year I was offered an apprenticeship with Kingswood as a HR Recruitment Administrator. I eagerly accepted and I am now working toward a Business Admin NVQ Level 2  and a Microsoft office certification.

If it wasn't for Phoenix Enterprises and the CWP team and Kingswood Activity Centres I would not be as happy & settled where I am now. 

I am extremely grateful for the opportunities which have come my way.

If that's not good news, I don't know what is!


Karen Dunwell (Recruitment Team Leader) told us …….

“Initially we were really grateful for a volunteer to help us with tasks that we don't always have time to do, such as building a training manual. Having Naomi highlighted the need for Kingswood to recruit someone who would be able to take on tasks like this. Naomi has proved to be a valued member of the team”.

The partnership we have with Phoenix Enterprises is working really well”





A leading health and beauty retailer |


After searching for suitable candidates for my 2 vacancies at Parkgate and interviewing nearly 20 applicants I was approached by Luke at Phoenix Enterprises in regards to them helping me source suitable staff for free.

Luke explained the process clearly and concisely and was very knowledgeable of the retail sector and the requirements we needed from a candidate.

He then took the vacancy details with him and placed an advert in the Phoenix Enterprises offices across South Yorkshire, he sifted through CV’s, conducted pre-vet interviews and checked that all requirements were met by the candidates before he booked them in for interview with myself.

He kept in contact with me every step of the way and interviews, appointments and phone calls were all made at my convenience.

I was very impressed with the calibre of candidate I interviewed and offered 2 of them jobs the same week. Both are now very important members of the team and are thriving in this busy retail environment.

The whole process was dealt with professionally, efficiently and personable , it saved me lots of time and allowed me to focus on other elements of the store.

One of the candidates was also eligible for the wage incentive scheme (WIS) which means that we will now receive a cash incentive for taking on a young person.

I have already recommended Phoenix Enterprises and Luke onto another branch in Mexborough and would recommend them to any employer who is looking for staff.

Claire Reeves

Manager – Parkgate, Rotherham



Paul |

“Dear Joy,
I am happy to tell you that I have been employed by a Security firm on full time on the 13th of September
I am indeed happy to say thank you to you and the entire staff of Phoenix for all your help financially, morally during all these trials. God bless you all.
Paul “


JE James |

"Luke at Phoenix Enterprises has helped with the advertising and vetting of applicants for our Rotherham store vacancies for the past few months and in that time we have had some great applicants some of whom are with the JE James team now. Luke has kept me well informed and has been honest throughout. He has been professional throughout and is a credit to Phoenix Enterprises."

Jonathan Hall

Store Manager

J.E James Cycles 


Candlelight |

"We have a good working relationship with Lesley W at Phoenix Enterprises.

All of our warehouse vacancies are now put to Lesley first. Lesley puts together CV's and interviews any candidates that she feels are the right candidate for our vacancies saving us time and money. 

We have had great success in filling our vacancies in all different areas of our warehouse container unloading, picking, packing and labelling and have offered permanent jobs to these staff.

When we have had any issues occasionally, Lesley has been able to sort these for us again saving us the time.

I have always found Lesley to be very professional and a good communicator."

Elaine Chedgzoy

Warehouse Manager

Candlelight Products Ltd.


Smyths Toys |

Smyths Toys - Crystal Peaks

"Whilst working with Phoenix Enterprises for several roles in the store I found them extremely professional, efficient and they had a clear understanding of the business and what was required for our staffing needs. They were flexible in their approach and conducted assessments, interviews and pre-screening before sending for interview with us which was a great help as the candidates were prepared and ultimately were right for us.

I would strongly recommend Phoenix Enterprises to other businesses and will be using them for any of our recruitment needs going forward."

Matt Jupp



Gi Group | 8/7/13

"Gi Group have worked with Phoenix for over a year now during which time we have found them to be an excellent and supportive partner.

Tracey has been our main contact and has always taken time the time to ensure she understands the roles that we have on offer and what we look for in an employee. I feel that this has been paramount to the success that we have achieved together in getting long term unemployed back in to work.

Phoenix offer a tailored service to our company whereby they meet with all prospective candidates and run sessions with them to fully prepare them for interview. They ensure that the job is suitable for each candidate, check that they have all of the required documents, reference details etc which are all needed for interviews with the Gi Group. This has worked well and has ensured that our interview sessions run as smoothly as possible, it has also significantly reduced our drop out rate during interview. This is all totally free of charge to our business.

To date we have had some great employees arise from the partnership we have with phoenix and I have, and would certainly continue to recommend them to other businesses."

Caroline Beck

Account Manager -Polestar Sheffield

Gi Group - SMS Manufacturing


B&Q |

"Dear Tracey,

I just wanted to write to say a huge thank you from myself and all the managers here at Penistone Road.
The quality and calibre of the candidates you have directly sourced for us are superb and are really helping to reinforce our company vision to be the Helpful home improvement company. One of the employees even had a customer compliment letter in the first week of his trial!

You are a great accolade to your company. Nothing is ever too much trouble and you have been a great support to the store as we are relentless around finding the right talent to deliver only the best world class customer service.

Your approach is super efficient and you have delivered an excellent track record in terms of candidate match to role profile.

The collaboration between B&Q and Phoenix Enterprises has been really useful for recruitment purposes and we would highly recommend any fast paced retailer to utilise your great, unique service that always delivers that personal touch and is committed to looking after people getting back into the work place.

Looking forward to working with you again very soon,"

Mel Webster

HR Manager

B&Q Plc 


Oakhouse Foods Ltd |

Dear Sir/Madam

I write in reference to Tracy W [at Phoenix Enterprises], and the outstanding service she provides.

We are a small and newly formed business, and fully appreciate her friendly helpful approach and guidance in the area of recruitment – an area which was very new to us. Since first meeting she has successfully helped us recruit the majority of our workforce.

Tracy has a professional manner and always takes time to listen and fully assess our requirements. She has gone on to consistently provide us with high quality candidates, who are appropriate to us and our needs.

Tracy has a very warm, supportive manner, which puts both us and the job applicants immediately at ease. The service that she has provided has been invaluable to us – she’s pretty much regarded as one of the team – and we hope to continue this relationship for many years to come.


Tracy Williams
Oakhouse Foods (Chesterfield) Ltd


Andy |

Andy had been unemployed for almost a year and was beginning to lose hope. He came along to Phoenix to ask about working in security.  He was informed by an Advisor he would need an SIA licence. This was arranged through Phoenix and Andy is now in full time employment.


Lisa |

Lisa is a lone parent who had been out of work for 3 years. She had previously worked in retail but wanted to train to be a hairdresser. She enrolled herself at college to work towards an NVQ Level 1 in Hairdressing and Beauty. This was Lisa’s first qualification. After completing this she came along to Phoenix and spoke to an Advisor who recommended that she continued in college to achieve NVQ Level 2. Lisa was happy with this but needed a uniform, which Phoenix arranged for her. Lisa is due to shortly complete her NVQ Level 2 and has a job to start upon completion.


Craig |

After being unemployed for almost 6 months Craig applied for our advertised vacancy for an industrial cleaner. The employer had asked for someone with an elevating platform certificate, CSCS card and Scaffolding certificate. These were all arranged through his advisor at Phoenix and she later arranged a 3 week work trial with the company for Craig through the job centre. Craig started full time permanent work with this company and was very happy with the service he received from Phoenix.


Sue |

After being made redundant Sue was feeling very despondent and came into Phoenix for jobsearch support.  Her Advisor assisted Sue with her jobsearch and she was successful in gaining an interview.  Sue started work as a full time Administrator at a local engineering company and is progressing well.


Stuart |

Dear all;

I am in my 30’s and I have been helped greatly by the staff of Phoenix Enterprises. In November 2006 I started to suffer from a distressing nerve disorder. And since then I have been suffering with tic/tourette symptoms.

Despite trying to continue to work, I could no longer resume my old job of a warehouse op and reach truck driver. Consequently my finances also suffered. Bills and excessive bank charges would show no sympathy for one in such a predicament.

The Job centre forwarded me to Phoenix Enterprises. The help I received was paramount.

The voluntary Financial Adviser, Darren I believe was his name, helped me manage my finances when I could not. He also managed to get the many bills to show a little support to one such as me. In addition, he helped me succeed in winning an insurance dispute with my bank.

David, their Employment Advice Worker, was also a tremendous help. Despite my problems he found me job interviews and pathways to exploit my capabilities. He is a credit to the company. I now enjoy an animation fan base thanks to this man.

The other members of staff at Phoenix including Ken, all strike me as helpful, friendly and polite. Such help for those who struggle in life is vital in this day and age. Phoenix Enterprises must continue their great work to help those unfortunate.

Thanks, Stuart