Job Vacancies & Financial Support (for UK People & Businesses)| Covid-19

With the Coronavirus bringing so many industries to their knees, millions of people around the world are inevitably going to be out of work. Other industries are desperately seeking employees to deal with changing demands, so I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of vacancies (mainly in UK retail) to help make the job search a little bit easier.

I will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.
Latest Update: 30/03/2020


Jobs Vacancies

Here’s a list of some employers with current vacancies – all in one place.
You can narrow the results by adding your location to the search bar.
You can also search for jobs via S1Jobs, Glassdoor, Indeed and more.


Financial Support

Unfortunately, the UK government have provided little concise information at this difficult time. There are people in so many different positions, dealing with zero hour contracts, redundancy, self-induced quarantine or statutory sick-pay, to name a few.

I hope the following links provide some light in this dark time, but more importantly, help people get the support we desperately need over the coming months.

Screenshot from the gov.uk website
The Redundancy Payments Helpline is back up and running as of 19 March 2020

Support For Businesses

My heart goes out to all the ambitious, talented and passionate business owners who, through no fault of their own, are facing the potential destruction of their livelihoods. Here’s a little advice from the government with, hopefully, much more to come.

Some good news for Scottish Businesses


If you are a business owner and have set up a support fund for your business, please leave a link in the comments.

I will continue to update and add to this page as more information and relief is brought to light. We will make it through this if we work together.

With love, peace, strength and solidarity,

Jen x


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Postcards From Italy

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

Today, I spent several hours chatting to friends and family over different video-calling platforms. In a way, I count myself lucky that this is all happening at a time where we can stay connected through the wonder of technology. It also goes to show that the internet should no longer be considered a luxury – it’s a utility!

So, the plan is to keep communicating regularly, and I’m slowly creating a list of family and friends to call at the same time every week. Where we would have planned to go out for lunch or coffee, we now get that coffee at home, plant ourselves comfortably and spend time chatting, as though we are side-by-side.


After feeling a calling for quite some time, I finally took a few minutes to conduct some Metta Meditation for all the people of our world, offering love, solidarity, strength and peace.

Beirut – Postcards From Italy
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A Walk In Nature

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

Today’s highlight was meeting my good pal Graeme and going for a nice walk in the rain round Kelvingrove Park.

I took it all very seriously – no hugs or handshakes (even though this was the first time I had seen him in over 6 months) and I didn’t go into any buildings.

We walked with at least a metre between us and I kept my hands in my pockets as much as possible. It’s quite a challenge to avoid touching anything at all!

The thing that gets me is that people think I’m doing this because I’m scared. That I’m taking it way too far and overreacting.

Honestly, I wish I had done it sooner.


I’m devastated for all the bars, restaurants, pubs, musicians and companies in the events and tourism industries because this will be the end for so many. They’re torn between staying open to save their livelihoods and closing to save lives, and that’s a sickening predicament to be in.

Without a definitive lockdown, and forced closure of establishments by the government, these businesses can expect no compensation from insurance companies and will be left to fail.

Please see this post on financial assistance during Covid-19 lockdown, for some up-to-date information.

Support your local business:

  • leave positive reviews
    • TripAdvisor
    • GoogleMaps
    • Facebook Pages
  • share and like their social media
  • order online
  • order takeaways
  • buy & send gift cards – check for online versions!

This situation will change, but let’s do everything we can to promote local businesses and protect our vulnerable citizens, while we can.


Roots Manuva – Movements
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Happy Birthday Hand-Washing

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

It was an interesting birthday. Shout-out to my parents for cooking the perfect meal and providing my favourite Caterpillar Cake to top it off!

Thank you for the lovely messages and calls, from friends and family around the world.

It’s been a most uneventful birthday, but that was to be expected.

One thing is for sure…millions of strangers were singing Happy Birthday for me today, and they didn’t even know it!


Nico – These Days
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Red Dead Redemption 2

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

After 6 months without playing a Playstation, I’ve been making up for lost time. I know I’m a bit late to the party, but RDR2 is top notch!

I played that for a few hours, spoke to my Grandma over a video-call for a while, took a walk around the neighbourhood and picked up a couple of things from the Co-op, all the while maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from anyone around me.

At one point on the walk back, I thought the handles on my bag were going to snap, that my shopping was going to fall out all over the street. There was a man nearby and the whole scene unfolded in my head – he walks over to help, we both look at each other cautiously, yet apologetically, he falters and I say I’ll manage by myself.

None of this actually happened, but I do imagine that our compassion for strangers may wane during this time. Will we be so likely to help another human out, this time next year?

I hope this whole thing actually brings us closer together within our communities. Wave 1 will be difficult, but we can regroup and plan for how we deal with the next few waves. I’d like to see some permaculture food production in local areas. The sun, water and earth can provide much of we need, and thankfully, those resources are still available to us.


Guru, Baybe – Lifesaver
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Stay The F*** Home

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

Today I did just that – I sat and played Red Dead Redemption 2. I drank 6 cups of tea. I make a Thai green coconut curry because I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I read some good articles on COVID-19, including the daily situation update from the World Health Organisation.

The truth is… I feel guilty. It felt weird going out in public yesterday to all these restaurants, knowing full well the best thing I should be doing is hiding myself in my bomb-shelter and not being a potential link in the chain.

I’m frustrated because I’m only here for 1 month. I came here to see all the people I love and miss. I came here to give hugs, to go out and eat delicious food, to celebrate my birthday and see my friends and family. I’m also aware that none of that matters in the grand scheme of things.

What matters is flattening the curve. What matters is protecting the vulnerable. What matters is not being selfish.

I will need to think seriously about whether I continue socialising, because I’m beginning to believe it’s not the right thing to do. If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I know it’s not. I should really stay the fuck home.


Mount Kimbie – Made To Stray

A Strange Time

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

It’s a rather strange time, right now. There’s no doubt that my life on Koh Tao is a little bubble – we’re far away from the mainstream British media, and far from the fear. There’s definitely still enough toilet paper on that tiny island to last a lifetime.

Even if we did run out of bog-roll, no-one would panic. Almost every toilet in Thailand comes with a bum-gun, as standard!


Today was a pleasant day of catching up with friends. A lunch at Stereo for Monty’s birthday. Tea and cake with Andie at Glasvegan, a lovely little cafe at St Enoch Centre I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time. A couple of pints of soda water with my old architecture pals at The Lab. Finally, a delicious dinner, thanks to Saska’s incredible home-cooking.

I’m grateful to have such lovely friends around me and, although there’s a lot of stress in the air, it’s so nice to see people’s smiling, happy faces.


Additional Lowlights:

  • My Glasgow to London connecting flight has been cancelled. No word of the flight from London to Bangkok, though. I’ll have to investigate…
Otis Redding – Hard To Handle

Sober and Smoke-Free | Six Months

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alright guys – so it’s time for another milestone post!

I’m finding peace in the waters of my mind.
I know it won’t always be smooth sailing, but I bathe in the waves of calm that wash over me now, for the first time in many moons of my life.

A short poem I wrote at the 3 month milestone

Six months ago I left Glasgow to pursue my dream life as a professional scuba diver. I flew to Koh Tao in Thailand with the ambition to complete my training to become a qualified dive instructor. I also had a secondary mission: to stop smoking and drinking.

Less than a week after arriving in Thailand, I got started on that secondary mission.

People told me it would be hard to do on a paradise island, where everyone’s enjoying cocktails in the sun and cigarettes are as cheap as chips. They weren’t wrong!

I will tell you though, if you really want something, you’ll do anything to make it happen.

I knew I had to remove myself from the regular catalysts in my life. Unfortunately, that meant my social life, my good friends who drink and smoke. It meant leaving my work-places of a pub and a call-centre, where the cigarette break is a right of passage.

Perhaps, most importantly, it involved me moving away from the people who contribute to my feelings of guilt, inferiority and worthlessness. It can be hard to recognise these patterns while you’re in them, but once the cycle is broken, these triggers become astoundingly obvious.

By moving away, I removed some of the behavioural & psychological triggers in my addictions, and broke those parts of the cycle.


People ask me now that I’m back in Glasgow, if I’ll break this new habit of abstinence. They wonder if this is a life-long choice – will I ever have a drink again?

The answer is: I desperately hope not.

For those of you who are in recovery from addiction, I commend you on your journey! For others who are taking the psychological steps to do so, I encourage you to look deep within yourself, listen closely and honour your mind and body. The first steps are the hardest.

Stopping a habit long enough to clear the physical desire is one thing, but the psychological crutch is another ball-game, entirely. Just 2 days into my time in Scotland and I’ve already been reminded of challenges & traumas, along with the negative effects that this cold, dark climate has on my mental state. I’ve also experienced self-loathing and judgement that I’d been set free from for the last 6 months. It’s been a difficult few days, and it’s okay to admit that. It’s important to recognise when the journey gets tough.

However, instead of dwelling on the people and places that bring me down, I thought I would write a list of the things that I have achieved in the last 6 months, to remind me that I am strong, and this is absolutely worth it:

  • I single-handedly created Dive Into Travelling – Website, Instagram & Facebook.
  • I became a PADI Rescue Diver and Emergency First Responder
  • I completed a 400metre swim unaided in the sea in under 6 minutes and 20 seconds, earning the top grade for that skill
  • I climbed the first ladder of professional diving and qualified as a PADI Divemaster
  • I completed the PADI Instructor Development Course
  • I sat the 2-day PADI Instructor Exam, and received 5 out of 5 for every, single unit.
  • I became an Emergency First Response Instructor
  • I paid my fees and became an active PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor!
  • I taught and certified my first students
  • I completed a TEFL certification course
  • I set and maintain a Daily Writing Challenge for this blog
  • I’ve created Travel Playlists from my songs of the day
  • I’ve participated in numerous beach, reef and land cleans
  • I started the @beachcleandaily Instagram to promote our efforts as individuals – if you’re on the beach, lets work together and clean it to truly enjoy it!
  • I’ve been solo travelling and can’t wait to continue the adventure
  • I have not touched a drop of alcohol or smoked anything for 6 months!

That’s everything I can think of at the moment which has made me proud in the last 6 months. It feels good to write this down and acknowledge them because, honestly, I believe the route of addiction starts in a lack of self-worth. Sometimes you have to take a moment to reflect on the minor, or major achievements of your life to remind yourself that you are the one who gets you through.

See you at the 1 year mark!

Jen

Whilst the above story is a relatively happy one, I know what it feels like when the challenge seems too great.

Please use the below links to get access to a huge list of UK and US helplines. Call 116 123 in Europe for emotional support, and specific contact numbers.

LIST OF UK HELPLINES

LIST OF USA HELPLINES

LIST OF SOUTHEAST ASIA HELPLINES

If you know of any other country-specific helplines please add them to the comments on this post. Thank you.


Here’s what I wrote on my last milestone:

Today marks 3 months since I last had an alcoholic drink or a smoke of any kind.

I have a million and one fond memories of the nights out I’ve had with many of you. From my McChuills family, to my own family and lots friends from all my walks of life, a large number of pints were consumed (and so much more).

Though following the great nights were some very long and very hard days. The great times I’d had the night before were marred by my crippling anxieties, my chest heavy and pained from the chain smoking, my head clouded and weighed down by the hangover.

It became easier for me to avoid dealing with the hangover by following it with another few beers that night – just a couple, of course. Then maybe a few more the next night. And a few shots of patron cos why not. Then after a week or so I might take a day or two off, just to give my body a wee rest.

Though, within a few days I would find another good reason to be back on it. And what was the point in just one or two pints, after all?

I began to resent myself and loathe the choices I would made on a daily basis. In the throws of agonising headaches at 7.15am after being out til the wee small hours, to the hacking coughs, I would vow to myself never to do it again. How could I put my body through all this turmoil on such a regular basis? It simply wasn’t sustainable and I knew it, but I just couldn’t find the will in myself to stop, to make the change. I’d beg my body to hold up for me now, and more importantly down the line in, hopefully, many years to come.

In all honesty, I had bribed myself for many months that by leaving Scotland, by coming out to Thailand, by pursuing my dream of becoming a scuba dive professional, I would finally make the change.

I didn’t even make 2 days on the island before I cracked!

But that was it. Just two days. It was the morning after that, I made the decision. And I really made it.

I had bought a packet of rolling tobacco that night from the 7-11 outside BND on Sairee Beach, but I never actually had a cigarette out of it.

I kept the packet sitting on my fridge in my hotel room, taunting me everyday as I walked in and out the door for weeks. My good friend Adam was travelling from Scotland through Thailand and came to hang out with me for a week or so, and he was enjoying all the bounties of cheap beer and 70thb packs of cigarettes (£2.20) and rightly so!
But I didn’t crack.

I had the support of a good friend Chris, who had been forced (through allergies) to quit alcohol almost a decade prior. It was good to bounce my feelings off someone who would understand the social implications I anticipated of being a non-drinker.

It was hard at first – no doubt about it. Wondering if there would be a ‘when’ or looking for a good enough reason to drink again. Wondering if I would be accepted at the pub by my friends, and what about back home? I’m from Scotland for fuck sake, it’s our version of water. How will I hold up when I come back at some point?

Alas. 3 months have gone by since those first-week’s woes.

My skin is clearer. My eyes are whiter. My wallet is fuller (lol kidding on I’m skint as ever). My relationships are smoother. My confidence has grown. My ambitions are bigger. My drive is more powerful. My mornings are brighter and I no longer wake up with the feeling of exceptional dread that I had grown accustomed to as my norm.

As for anxiety? There is no doubt it has been reduced – significantly. I still experience it on a regular basis, the odd panic attack every couple of months, a few bursts of catastrophisation throughout the week, but it’s seriously moderated now.

This has all stemmed from finally listening to my mind and my body, and honouring their calls for respect.


DJ Shadow – Six Days
Hamish Imlach – Goodbye Booze
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Hame

Diary of a Scuba Instructor in Glasgow, Scotland.

Well, after 20 hours of travelling, it’s only reasonable that I’d feel exhausted!

I got back to Glasgow late last night, and my Dad came to the airport to pick me and my mum up. I headed straight to bed and woke, bright as a button at 8.30 this morning! Not bad!

I ran a few errands today, made a couple of phone calls and generally got myself together, which was nice! It feels good to be productive [as I then spent about 3 hours playing guilt-free PlayStation…].

I also took myself for a lovely walk around Kelvingrove Park this morning, though the weather was pretty dire and very cold – my wee fingers were red raw! The temperature will take a bit of getting used to, I reckon.

Dive Into Travelling Instagram post

In the evening, my lovely friends Eleanor, Matt and Dave had me round for veggie chilli and it was so gorgeous. I was so impressed by Eleanor’s cooking until I found out that her brother, Euan, had arrived on the fly and cooked it for us! I did wonder…


Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
Mac DeMarco – Cooking Up Something Good

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Baan Ton Mai Treehouse Cafe

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on holiday in Klong Muang, Krabi

Today is the last full day that Mum and I have in Thailand…

For breakfast, we took a little drive out to Baan Ton Mai Cafe which was a lovely treehouse style restaurant between Ao Nang and Klong Muang.

It was definitely worth the visit for the incredible work that had gone into the place, but sadly the food was nothing to write home about. I was also pretty disappointed that such a natural looking restaurant served its drinks in plastic cups…

Disappointed that all drinks were served in plastic cups at Baan Ton Mai Cafe, Krabi

We then drove out to another part of Klong Muang beach for a dip in the sea and some beachside relaxation. I may have taken in a bit too much sun, between the bathing and the motorbike rides, but at least I got an Instagram worthy shot out of it.

Dive Into Travelling Instagram

We flew from Krabi to Bangkok this evening and have an overnight stay in a nearby hotel before our flight to London tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a long and boring day of travel, but tomorrow night’s update will be coming to your from the other side of the world!


song of the day: Matthew Halsall – Cherry Blossom
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