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Volunteering: A word packed with possibility

calendar03 April 2016

Kathy Freeman's avatar Kathy Freeman

Volunteering: A word packed with possibility

Why volunteer? A better question to ask yourself is why not volunteer? Participating in volunteer work provides great benefits for everyone involved, and is likely to improve your future prospects as well as your current circumstances.

Think about that cause you are passionate about – rescuing abused animals, preserving the environment, creating a safe place for the homeless. Whatever it may be; this is your chance to make a difference.

Volunteering isn’t about finding a dull bit of unpaid work to help you get that job you actually want, it’s about using your time to do something you love. Your perspective is key: if you see it as this, any other doors it opens up will simply be an added bonus. Volunteer work isn’t guaranteed to find you a job, but it will definitely make a difference to your CV and ultimately it will enable you to spend your time doing something you believe in. Doing something you love will undoubtedly improve your current circumstances.

We all know being unemployed can be emotionally draining, often leaving you doubting your skills or simply feeling restless and rearing to get out of the house. Purpose, passion and perseverance are three vital ingredients that make the difference between living and surviving. Why not invest your time into volunteering and boost your confidence and motivation?

Time is one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone. Think about the moments that you value the most, if you took a photo of each of those moments, they will most likely to consist of a collection of your family and friends. Time is precious and it says a lot about character. Employers and recruiters, like us, are ordinary people and they know the importance of time.That’s why volunteer work is valued so highly when it comes to getting a job. It’s a chance to show managers you’re willing to spend time and effort investing into their company or cause.

If you don’t think you have what it takes, use your period of unemployment as a chance to gain further abilities. Ask to be given responsibilities and tasks that will help you learn new skills or sharpen the ones you already have. Be confident and develop as many contacts as you can – ask them to direct you to any future jobs or internships that might be arising.

Volunteering might seem quite a daunting process. Maybe you’re not sure where to begin looking for placements or you’re struggling to build up the confidence to do it? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, there are hundreds of others who feel exactly the same.

CAP Job Clubs are here to help. We will teach you vital skills whether it’s building confidence or communicating with employers. Meeting in small groups, CAP Job Clubs will support and encourage you as your search for employment begins. For more information check out or to book your place call 0800 328 0006.

Written by Kimberley Taylor

Join me in my kitchen

calendar24 March 2016

John Kirkby's avatar John Kirkby

Join me in my kitchen

Join me in my kitchen to hear all about where CAP began, show you where it all started and the exciting vision for the future as we mark 20 years.


Budget recipe binder: Em’s Hearty Hotpot (Perfect for Easter!)

calendar22 March 2016

Gemma Pask's avatar Gemma Pask

Budget recipe binder: Em’s Hearty Hotpot (Perfect for Easter!)

Em says: ‘I love Easter; my family always goes for a long walk on Good Friday. I’m not the biggest fan of walking but it’s the one day I make an effort, mainly because of what is waiting for us when we get home… my mum’s Lancashire Hotpot! Chunks of slow cooked lamb in a thick, tasty gravy, topped with crisp golden potatoes. Made using spring lamb and a great opportunity to take advantage of ‘wonky veg’ – it’s a wonderfully tasty, easy cook alternative to a roast dinner!’

Preparation time: 30 – 40 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 35 mins – 2 hours
Serves: 6 - 8
Total cost: Approx. 11.97 (with meat); 6.97 (without meat)*

Lamb can be an expensive meat and it does bump up the price of this dish, but certain cuts, such as the scrag end used in this recipe, are cheaper, so shop around, and check out your local butcher’s rather than heading straight to the supermarket. Of course, the recipe also works with other (often less pricey) meats such as beef. And there’s always the option of substituting the meat altogether for more chunky veg, which will considerably lower the overall cost and offer a nice little vegetarian option, too.


600g diced stewing lamb (or ‘scrag end’)
10 carrots peeled and sliced
3 onions peeled and sliced
1 butternut squash, cubed
500g swede, diced
1kg waxy potatoes peeled and sliced into thin disks
750ml stock (veg or lamb)
2 tbsp seasoned flour
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Bay leaves (or a generous dash of mixed herbs)
Oil or butter for frying


1. Heat oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3
2. Toss the diced lamb in the seasoned flour
3. Heat some oil or butter in a large shallow casserole dish or frying pan
4. Brown the lamb in batches, and place to one side
5. Fry the onions, carrots, squash and swede in the pan with a little more oil until the onions have softened and started to colour a pale gold
6. Sprinkle over any remaining flour and allow to cook for a couple of minutes
7. Pour in the stock, Worcester sauce and herbs, then bring to the boil
8. Stir in the meat then turn off the heat
9. Arrange the sliced potatoes on top of the meat, then drizzle with a little more oil (or dab bits of butter over)
10. Cover, then place in the oven for about 1½ hours until the potatoes are cooked
11. Remove the lid and brush the potatoes with a little more oil, turn the oven up to brown the potatoes, or finish under the grill for 5 to 8 minutes until brown

*Prices from Morrisons, correct at time of publishing

Interview top tips

calendar06 March 2016

Kathy Freeman's avatar Kathy Freeman

Interview top tips

Let’s say you’re through the first stages of job application and you have an interview: what next? For some, the hard part is over because you’re great with first impressions. For others, the interview is the stumbling block; you know you’ll sweat your way through the hardest 35 minutes you’ve ever endured.

If that’s you, don’t panic! We’ve come up with some top tips for how to keep your nerves at bay.

1. Be prepared: People say it over and over but that’s because it’s true. ‘Blagging it’ isn’t a sensible option, and you’ll end up wasting both your time and the interviewers’. Do a few hours of Internet research on the company: their values, their conduct, and their financial policy. It pays to do your homework, as it shows the employer you are genuinely interested in the job.

2. Be on time: In fact be early; allow enough time so that if all goes to plan you will be 45 minutes early. You can always find a café or phone a friend for a pep-talk. Nothing’s worse than going into an interview all flustered because you rushed.

3. Be smart: If you’re unsure about the dress code, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Be smarter than you need to be; you want them to remember you and not your poor clothing choice.

4. Be up-to-date: There’s little point going to an interview and referring to things that happened five years ago. As much as past knowledge is good, current knowledge is better. If you’re interviewing to be a teacher, what recent governmental changes in the Department for Education are going to affect your job? If it’s hairdressing, are you aware of the latest trends and how to create them?

5. Be the best: Whatever the job, make sure you know the ins and outs of the specification. And have an example of your aptitude for everything on the list. Use a ‘just in case’ approach, as you can’t know for sure what they will ask. For example, if you are dealing with customers, think of a time when you successfully dealt with a difficult person. Be ready to describe how you went about it and why it worked.

6. Be honest: They may well ask you for a ‘strength’ and ‘weakness’ about yourself. Don’t try to suggest you have no weaknesses, because everyone does. The trick is to explain your weakness and then follow it up with how you are in the process of overcoming it.

7. Overall, the best advice is to be the person they’re looking for. You don’t need to pretend to be someone else – but the fact that you’ve got this far means you have something they like. Imagine who they want and show them that that’s who you are.

If however, you’re still feeling intimidated then CAP Job Clubs run a free course with specific interview training. As well as offering other tips and advice to help you in your job-hunting, the CAP Job Clubs offer the support and encouragement of other friendly job seekers. Facing unemployment can be extremely difficult, but you don’t have to face it alone. For more information check out or to book your place call 0800 328 0006.

Written by Kimberley Taylor

Lead - Apply Today!

calendar25 February 2016

John Kirkby's avatar John Kirkby

Do you know anyone who has leadership potential?

We are looking for passionate people who want to develop their leadership giftings to serve the poor, save the lost with the Church across the UK.

Do you know anyone like that? If so forward this onto them or apply yourself!

CAP's one year paid leadership programme involves:

  • Weekly input and coaching from CAP's award winning leadership team.
  • Get the inside track on the charity that's beating UK charity.
  • Professional experience in the not-for-profit section.
  • Discover and use your God given potential.

We have a recruitment day on Monday 21 March, so get your applications in fast!

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