Lee had been a coach and bus driver travelling throughout the UK for 24 years, but a severe back issue meant he had to give up work, and he had been unemployed for 16 months when he signed up to Conwy Employment Hub on the Communities for Work Plus programme.
Lee had several bulging spinal discs causing acute pain and discomfort which led to him being housebound for 15 months, which then had a knock-on effect as he began to suffer with anxiety and mild depression. His health issues also impacted on the shared custody of his children as he was very conscious that he wasn’t able to do the things with them he wanted to.
Having been signed up to receive a course of physiotherapy for his back, Lee knew it was time to get his career back on track. When Lee contacted the Hub he was assigned to Lorraine who was his own dedicated mentor and together they set about securing him a job that would enable him to use his skills and experience.
Lorraine helped Lee create a robust CV and they discussed his work and life experiences and how these can easily be transferred to other business sectors. Lee considered his options and informed Lorraine that he’d like to work in the care sector as he has relevant experience of looking after his son who has autism, plus these jobs are often more flexible so they can fit around his childcare responsibilities.
During all these discussions, Lorraine sensed that Lee has a huge amount to offer employers but he was lacking in self-confidence to secure that job, so she signed him up for the Hub’s Confidently You programme which is funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund. This pre-employment support project focuses on reducing social isolation, building resilience and increasing confidence/self-esteem, and Lee not only enjoyed the course and the activities but there was a phenomenal improvement in his confidence and his mental health.
As Lee continued with his physiotherapy and his back exercises it became evident that any future job role in the care sector couldn’t involve lifting heavy objects. Lorraine arranged for Lee to meet with one of Conwy County Borough Council’s Community Care support workers to find out more about their work and the opportunities available to him, and at the end of the meeting Lee had decided this was definitely the direction he wanted to take.
Lorraine helped Lee complete his application form to become a Community Care support worker and worked with him and his Confidently You mentor on interview techniques so when he was invited for an interview he was successful and offered a job.
Although Lee has only been working in this role for less than six months he is loving his job and is ready to take on any new challenges.