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Steps in the right direction

BOOST: (From left) Erma Lewis, Major Glenville Lindsay, James Green, Lynette Brazier and her son Amil

A UNIQUE course in Birmingham aims to help unemployed people regain their confidence.

Erma Lewis, a veteran fundraiser who is renowned for her positive approach to life, has restarted her Stepping Stones mentoring course, which helps anyone of working age feel better about themselves and the chances of finding a job.

With financial backing from the European Social Fund, Erma is running fortnightly courses at venues across the city in confidence building, empowerment skills, motivation, team building, communication skills, CV writing and interview skills.

The courses are back by popular demand and utilise the skills of locally well-known mentors such as Glenville Lindsay, a retired major with the British Army, and gospel artist Owen Uriah, a trained mentor and counsellor.

So far, the new course is benefiting Lynette Brazier, an unemployed make-up artist, and her 19-year-old son Amil, a photographer.

“Here we have one-to-one help about filling in forms, improving our CVs and our confidence generally,” said Lynette. “It’s a great morale booster because we’re among very positive people who pass on that ‘can do’ attitude to all of us. There’s certainly no doom and gloom at the sessions!”

Erma is a former nurse who has raised the equivalent of more than £3 million in material aid with her charity Erma’s Jamaica Hospital Appeal Fund UK, which she launched in 1998. She said: “Sadly we cannot find jobs for people but we can help them to be work ready when the right job comes along. It’s all about boosting people’s confidence and making them realise what they have to offer.

“We also have a good day at every session, with plenty of laughter, which is equally important.”

* For details of course dates contact Erma on 0121 422 0184.

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