Posts In: Charity

In October, the Zest team was excited to take part in a sign language workshop led by the lovely, David J Johnston who came to us from Deaf links in Dundee. One of the participants and staff member, Megan Ravenhall shares her experience.

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September 21, 2014

A HUGE thank you

Not everybody knows, but Zest has a very different approach to employment. Inclusiveness is the key word in a philosophy which seeks give opportunity to those facing barriers to employment; a hand up, not a hand out.

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Lynsey Mitchell is a smart and hard working young woman from Fife and Zest has benefited immensely from her thanks to the Fife Youth Job Contract. According to the OpportunitiesFife website, the Fife Youth Job Contract (FYJC) is the Fife Council response to high levels of unemployment within the 16-24 year old age group. They are seeking to deliver support to help this group gain and sustain employment. Working with employers and Opportunities Fife Partners, they are looking to create additional opportunities for the young people of Fife. Zest has experienced first hand the benefits of the FYJC. Lynsey has become a vital part of Zest and is a key leader on the team. We have asked Lynsey to share a bit about herself and her experience with the FYJC.

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How do you define disability? This was the opening question at the Disability Awareness Training for the Zest staff on 25 June, 2014. The training was led by Lee-Ann from the Fife Council Supported Employment Services. The staff learnt that a disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities, and that 1 in 6 people in the UK have a disability. At Zest, working alongside people with disabilities is a reality and it will continue to be as Zest strives to become a training ground for people facing barriers either physical, mental or social. Through teaching and training, Zest provides the opportunity for employees to gain work experience, develop useful skills, and increase confidence. In order to accomplish this effectively, it is important for the entire Zest staff to be aware of the business’ goals and be willing to contribute. Fourteen of the fifteen staff attended the four hour training and with the help of Lee-Ann, each staff member walked away with a deeper understanding of disability awareness.

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It was a gloomy and rainy Friday in April and five of us Zest staff were gearing up to sleep outside. Zest had committed to support the Bethany Christian Trust by getting sponsors and giving up our beds for one night to sleep outside.

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investors in young people logo

id you know, in Scotland we have 53,000 Young People, not in work, education or training.
Did you know, 50% of school leavers don’t go to university, yet few gain relevant vocational qualifications while at school.
Did you know, only 27% of employers offer work experience opportunities.

At Zest, it is our mission to help support people with barriers to employment by providing a friendly and inclusive place to learn, develop and have access to regular training opportunities. This mission includes young people. For several years now, Zest has partnered with the Fife Youth Job Contract to supply a work experience location for youth in Fife. We have experienced many benefits from this opportunity and groups like Investors in Young People are rewarding us for our efforts and providing support to make us better.

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