Meet the Team – Bernie Myers, Life Coach/ Market Yourself Co-ordinator
After attending a work club for help to change career direction, Bernie Myers has come full circle and has become an experienced life coach, project co-ordinator and key member of the Actes project delivery team.
The Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) sessions she attended over eight years ago equipped her with skills and confidence to secure a role as an engagement worker for those same work clubs, drawing on previous experience in the voluntary sector as well as customer service and people skills.
Bernie said: “I had many skills that I didn’t realise were transferrable which the IAG sessions helped me recognise. I was ideally placed to promote the work clubs in a positive way as I’d experienced the benefits first hand.”
When Actes made the decision to deliver the work clubs direct Bernie naturally stepped into the role of adviser, eventually leading into an area of work which she has gone on to develop a real passion for, supporting ex-offenders into employment and back into the community.
“After helping 40 ex-offenders get taken on by a national company to undertake asbestos training, I realised this was an area where I could really add value,” she added.
During her time with Actes Bernie has been instrumental in the delivery of several major projects which have delivered significant results and helped hundreds of people across Tees Valley. Notable projects include: Positive Minds, providing people who had been made redundant with the practical support and coaching to encourage positive mental health and wellbeing; Market Yourself, equipping clients of all ages with the skills to better promote themselves to potential employers; and Inspire Life Coaching, working in conjunction with Job Centre Plus to help clients achieve their life goals.
Supporting offenders has continued to be a key aspect of Bernie’s work and she has undertaken significant research to better understand even the most hard to reach groups of offenders and the most effective ways to help them reintegrate into society, valuable learnings that she has been able to impart on colleagues and project partners.
“It’s all about breaking that cycle of reoffending. Providing the right support at an early stage when they’re in prison and continuing that as they re-integrate into society is extremely important. Over the years I’ve experienced many positive examples of where people have moved on and broke that cycle and these examples offer motivation to those who don’t think they can move on,” she commented.
Bernie is now heading up her ‘dream’ project, Refresh, which delivers a practical cycle maintenance course combined with life coaching, enterprise and leadership skills for inmates of HMP Holme House to improve job readiness. As well as managing the practical aspect of the project, Bernie will be helping them develop important job readiness skills via life coaching in employability, enterprise and leadership skills.
Bernie has continued to recognise the benefits of professional development to her ability to help others and has achieved several qualifications including; NVQ Level 4 Award in Information, Advice and Guidance, NVQ Level 3 Award in Education and Training, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Safe Guarding Adults V4 as well as qualifying as a Life Coach.
Bernie added: “Since attending the Actes work club several years ago I’ve never looked back. I get a real sense of job satisfaction from helping people to overcome barriers and achieve their personal goals.”