Just Straight Talk (JST) are part of the Foundation’s Community Matters programme. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund the programme aims to break down the barriers of employment and improve aspirations in the Black Country.


Lisa –

Lisa came as a referral from Dudley Job Centre; she’d been struggling with her mental and physical health while. She’d been looking for work but had no success. She is new to the area and had become very isolated.

With support she created a CV to be proud of and explored all the techniques and employability skills, advice and guidance needed to be successful.

After 3 months of support Lisa’s big moment arrived, she landed a job! Her new role would provide her with much more than an income.

Lisa wanted to thank the Community Matters project for the support. Through JST’s engagement opportunities her confidence and skills improved massively.

Lisa’s journey has consisted of ups and downs, tears and laughter and she will forever be a friend to JST!

Alex –

Alex was referred to JST by Stourbridge Job centre. Her work coach was doing all she could to support Alex who was sofa surfing, had no bank account, had multiple debts, physical and mental health issues as well as difficult relationships with her family.

A staff member said:

“What has always impressed me about Alex is her resilience, determination and honesty. In our first meeting.


“When she talked to me about everything that she’d been through, and was currently going through, I could see that it would’ve been easy for her to have become overwhelmed and have given up but she found a partially furnished flat and was a few weeks away from moving in.”

A restraining order against an abusive ex ran out, he began contacting her causing a great deal of anxiety. Her physical health began to deteriorate, and she began having difficulties with her neighbour which escalated very quickly. Through all these challenges JST assisted her with information, advice, guidance, skills development and most importantly emotional support.

Alex had always hoped to become a nurse. She was encouraged not to give up.

She began to repair her relationships with her parents and explored courses that would offer her a route into the care profession. Despite lock-down interrupting her studies she’s exiting Community Matters after 7 months into employment with a stable tenancy, significantly lower debts and a belief in own strength and capability that ensures her future success. Another great achievement for the programme. 

For more information on the Foundation’s Community Matters Programme click here.

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