Paul Doyle is a former Tús participant who took up an opportunity as a handyman with the ‘Care and Repair’ programme in Carlow County Development Partnership CLG. Having spent 20 seasons working in the sugar factory in Carlow, Paul found himself out of work following its closure. He had turned his hand to many jobs and worked in quarrying, building and in security before he found himself without work.

He was delighted when the opportunity arose with Tús in the ‘Care and Repair’ programme as he found he was spending lots of time with older people, which he loved:

I have always loved being around older people. I am drawn to them and I love the banter and the craic with  them. In my job with Tús I spent lots of time in the company of older people fixing something or carrying out small jobs for them. After a while they started asking for me by name and sometimes the job would be very small and you’d realise it’s the chat they really want! And that’s what I loved most about the job – the interaction with the people – and the jobs were almost secondary.’

When Paul’s time on the Tús scheme came to an end, the team encouraged him to further explore his love for work with older people. Paul was offered the opportunity to study a Fetac Level 5 Healthcare course in the VEC  in Bagenalstown, which offered the possibility of employment in the area of caring for older people upon completion.

‘I spent many years caring for my mother who only very recently died and so I have lots of experience of  working with the elderly along with the time spent on the Tús Care and Repair Programme. But these days you need the education to go along with that to get a job. I am nearly 30 years out of education so it was a big  step for me to consider going back. And it’s tough, but I hope it will be worth it in the end. If it gets me a job in  a nursing home or in the field of caring for the elderly I will be happy. All you can ask for is a job you like and a wage at the end of the week and that is what I hope to get out of this course’, says Paul.

The team at Tús continued to be available to support Paul while he was undertaking his course and he knew that he could avail of our expertise whenever needed. The routine of attending class every day was new and required discipline. While completing assignments and meeting deadlines can be daunting for those returning
to education after a long period of time, Paul’s experience shows that it is possible with support to return to  education, change career path and successfully gain employment.