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Adviza’s award-winning fitness-based programme for lone parents has been running in Reading since 2013. This autumn Work Fit has been rolled out to more areas including Bracknell where the first course ran this October.  Here, one of the recent participants describes what she got out of the programme.


My name is Sahra, I’m 33 and a single mum of two.  As a child I lived in Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Australia and UK.  I speak Somali, German, Dutch and English pretty well.

In spite of the fact I attended school in four out of the five countries I never had the privilege of finishing any, whether it be kindergarten, primary school, high school or college, due to constant moves.

Unemployment is real to me

I've been unemployed for a year now. Before that job I was unemployed for three years and before that job a further one year. Since my arrival in the UK in 2007 I have been unemployed for five out of the nine years. Unemployment is real to me and it comes down to two things: education and flexibility.

Even though I religiously apply for jobs (up to 30 every fortnight), I can't start before 9am due to the school run and need to finish for 2.30pm so I can be there to pick my children up from school. As if that isn't hard enough, my CV isn't impressive and due to unreliable references from my job gaps, it's highly unlikely to result in a successful job hunt.

Addressing the issues

My local job centre told me about the three week Work Fit course. I was interested because the course looked into our personal reasons for unemployment and how to address those issues. A free, three week gym membership was also included with the programme.

On week one not only did I get amazing ideas for how to tailor my CV I also learned to make it shorter and more appealing to employers.

On my second week I learned to give voluntary work a go. I didn't realise how many opportunities there are! Not only does this address my reference problem it also looks amazing on my CV. I've already secured a voluntary job at a stables and a writing job for a newspaper agency.

As part of the course I also obtained a first aid certificate and I now feel confident that I can help save someone's life because of this training. The gym membership is brilliant too and I’m looking forward to shedding a few more pounds!

Looking forward to the future

On our last and final week, I took part in a mock interview with Romans. It felt amazing and my confidence went through the roof. I’m thrilled and looking forward to the future.

I am extremely proud of myself. In such a short time I have learned so much and gained mountains of knowledge. I really think this course should be mandatory to lift unemployed people's spirit. Looking for a job is stressful. Stress affects every part of your body and that is mentally exhausting, affecting your self worth. Work Fit is a new and healthy way to addressing unemployment and I’m very thankful for the experience.

Find out more about Work Fit  

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