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A mum from Caerphilly gives advice to those who have been made redundant

“Being made redundant was one of the most worrying things that’s happened to me, but I can’t believe how well everything worked out.”

A mum from Caerphilly is sharing her experience of being made redundant in the hope of inspiring those going through a similar experience to seek free support to help change their own story.

Carlie Morgan, 33, was working as a technical writer for confectioner Bon Bon Buddies when she was made redundant after the company experienced financial difficulties.

Researching her job options, Carlie struggled to find work suitable for her skills and experience until she discovered the support that is available for those who have been affected by redundancy, through a redundancy action programme called ReAct.

ReAct is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. The programme offers free support to help individuals find a new job or learn the skills they need to start a new career. An individual can receive funding up to £1,500 towards a course and additional funding to remove barriers covering childcare, transport, specialist equipment and overnight accommodation.
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Carlie said: “Technical writing is essentially writing the ‘small print’ for products. I worked at Bon Bon Buddies for 11 years specialising in technical writing for food and toys and really enjoyed my job. I survived the first round of redundancies but was gutted to lose the job I loved when the company downsized to just three members of staff and moved to much smaller offices in Cardiff.

“Technical writing is quite a niche skill, there weren’t many businesses in Wales where I could work. I looked into jobs with other confectioners, but they wanted food tech experience and qualifications, which I didn’t have. After a month or so I gave up on finding work as a technical writer and started to look for alternative roles instead – anything to get me back into work. I started going to the Job Centre regularly as soon as I heard I was losing my job. Both my Careers Wales advisor and my case worker at the Job Centre were incredibly helpful and played a huge part in me getting back into work, because that’s how I heard about ReAct.”

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The financial support available through ReAct made it possible for Carlie’s husband to employ her at his newly-founded family business, The Funky Furniture Shed. The scheme offers businesses wage subsidies of up to £3,000 for taking on someone who has recently been made redundant and provides grants towards job-related training.

Carlie added: “My husband was working long hours and barely seeing our two-year-old daughter. He desperately needed someone to help with his workload but the business was still very new and he would never have been able to recruit someone without the funding so ReAct was a real lifeline for both of us. I started working for The Funky Furniture Shed at the start of 2019, handling the admin side of the business and writing the technical instructions that come with the furniture. For anyone who’s been made redundant I would really encourage them to look into ReAct. Being made redundant was one of the most worrying things that’s happened to me, but I can’t believe how well everything worked out.”

Antony Morgan, Carlie’s husband and owner of the Funky Furniture Shed, said: “Before I took Carlie on, I couldn’t keep up with the work coming in. I was having to turn work away, which was making it impossible to grow the business or employ someone else. The ReAct funding gave me the breathing room I needed to take someone on, and we’re now visibly growing and should be able to employ a third person soon. The other side of this is that it’s really helped our family. Carlie being made redundant was stressful for both of us, so it was a relief when ReAct made it possible for me to employ her and she’s now in a position to help our family business grow.”

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