A Greenock man who dropped out of uni has landed his dream job with a life-changing project after getting a second chance on the jobs front.
Ian Dornan, who quit his chemical engineering degree, found his feet again after securing a place on the Future Jobs Fund programme.
He is now the manager of the cafe in Broomhill Gardens & Community Hub, which recently secured major lottery funding.
The successful social enterprise project provides training, voluntary and work opportunities in sectors such as catering and horticulture to people with severe mental health problems.
Former student Ian, 28, from Pennyfern, who is in charge of hospitality operations, said:
“Chemical engineering and uni just wasn’t for me. I left as a result of family circumstances but I was struggling to get a full-time job and it was really difficult.
“The Jobcentre then gave me the chance to do the Future Jobs programme with the community development trust for six months.
“After the six months, Stepwell took me on in hospitality. It really worked for me and gave me a chance to get my feet on the ladder.”
Ten years on, Ian has worked his way up and now has a key role in the community hub which is owned by Inverclyde Association on Mental Health and managed by In-work Enterprises.
He directs the hospitality, helping to train and give people opportunities. Ian and his team are also on hand to help the people who use the centre.
“I don’t think I could work for a big chain where my customers are just numbers – I like seeing the same people every week, chatting to them and getting to know them.
“We get to know all our customers and we can help them just by listening. People in the community pop in here for the company.”
The community hub in the newly regenerated Broomhill has just been awarded £180,000 from the Climate Change Fund.
They have plans to build greenhouses and increase their capacity to grow their own food and involve the community.
Project manager Allan Maliska said:
“The lottery funding is a really great opportunity for us. We have lots of plans.”
For more information on Broomhill Community Gardens, click here.
Article and images: Greenock Telegraph