It’s been a while and much has happened! I was so ready for the Christmas break to attempt to relax, as much as you can at Christmas time with two small people in tow! It’s been a turbulent last three months to 2015 and not what we had planned for our year.
The last month has seen a big change – Paul is now employed! A friend pointed him in the right direction of a job and after submitting his CV and attending an interview Paul secured full time, temporary employment with Johnson Controls, a supplier of car seats to Nissan. The relief has been massive for us both. Paul has reclaimed his lost sense of pride. He is, providing for his family and feels of use once again. Despite a significant drop in wages Paul is so grateful to have found work and feels incredibly lucky. I have read that only 10% of the SSI workforce have moved in to new employment. The promise of retraining has not come to fruition for many or has certainly been a very slow process to access courses. There has been a distinct lack of urgency to get those made redundant back in to work as quickly as possible. Paul was unemployed and signing on for eight weeks. In that time, he attended numerous appointments with the National Careers Service and spent time travelling to Redcar in an attempt to register for courses. To date he has not enrolled on to anything and has now been told it will be the new year before he can start college to undertake a diploma in Process Technology. Three months is too long to wait for training when people are desperate. Desperate to feed, clothe and house their families, not to mention provide some sort of Christmas for their children. It’s sad to feel forgotten. To go from hardworking, passionate, steelworker’s to bottom of the pile, not worth spending time on, jobless men has, to put it mildly, been a kick in the teeth. I was asked by a journalist last week if we had felt forgotten about by the government. Yes we felt forgotten.
Dwelling on what has happened probably does us no good. Once I start writing and thinking about the events we have gone through I start to feel angry. We had a good life and exciting plans which are now been carefully reevaluated and perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. There will be changes in 2016. We need to be much more financially careful.. Saving for a deposit on a house will be more difficult now and may take longer than we had hoped. However, we feel more focussed now and are determined to make a secure future for our daughters.
We have to look forward and look towards the positives in our lives. We both work, have good health and great family surrounding us. We are lucky, even when things have been tough we know we are lucky. Recently I’ve been asked about Christmas and how it will be for us this year. We are going to have a good Christmas. The gifts are wrapped, food bought and booze in the cupboards. We haven’t gone overboard but we are going to have a great time. We’ll be having lunch at home with Paul’s parents and spending the evening at my sister, Madeleine’s house to celebrate her daughter, Rose’s 3rd birthday (Christmas Day baby). The kids will be happy when they see Santa has been and that is all that really matters. Their happiness.
So it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow. Paul received a gift voucher from work so we’ve spent it on tickets to see Snoopy in the morning. Mass is at 3.30pm so we’ll be home by 5pm ready to leave the carrot, mince pie and sherry out (perhaps Santa will favour a can of lager at our house). Baths, new pyjamas and early to bed for the girls in preparation for the big day will follow. Looking forward to a glass of fizz once Santa’s been before the frenzy of Christmas Day begins.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the last few months. We couldn’t have managed without the love and support of family, friends and those of you who have followed our journey. I am going to continue to blog because I think there will be more to come from The Maven’s in 2016! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope 2016 brings with it an upturn in fortunes for all of those who have been affected by the closure of SSI.