When I started working with CN4C I was kind of in despair. I had been treated terribly in every job I had for the last 15 years and felt like I had no chance of ever holding down a job because I would never be treated fairly. When I started [on programme with] CN4C I expected to be discriminated and dismissed again, and I was surprised when I wasn’t. I spent many weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never happened, and I started to realise that I was genuinely being accepted.
So after that I started to wonder why I was being accepted, and came to the conclusion that it was because CN4C is a very open minded sort of environment, and it made me realise that most of the jobs I had had previously were with very closed minded and rough sorts of people, so it made me think I needed to search for work in environments with people who were known for being inclusive, that’s what made me think of the NHS. So I asked your for help and you signed me up to 4work, and you managed to get me an interview at Treliske. They didn’t give me the job, but they were encouraging and said I should continue applying for work with them in future, rather than encouraging me to give up or just ignoring me like other interviewers had done to me in the past. This made me realise that I was on the right track.
I continued applying for work in the healthcare sector, and had you look over my personal statements and applications and stuff, and eventually I found a place that would take me on. Thank you so much for the help, you showed me that there are genuinely kind and open minded people who won’t judge me over superficial things, that I’m not just in a world of bigots but that there are good people in the world who really need me as well. I think if not for that I likely would have given up since I really was at the end of my rope and ready to accept life as a hermit, CN4C was really my last effort at getting to be a part of society, and I’m so glad it worked for me
He had been unemployed and on ESA since 2013 and has a 9-year-old autistic son whom he cares for at the weekends. His aim was to build his confidence and self-esteem; look at updating his CV and increase his skill set from engaging and studying for a Level 2 in Maths and English. He also needed support to access a laptop and connectivity. His future aim was to get back to work which would give him more structure and increase his financial status.
Gary was lent a laptop and referred to engage in Level 2 in English and Maths. He started to take these modules during lockdown, but due to issues with the laptop and camera, he had to drop out of this course until the existing laptop could be fixed. During this time, the caseworker sent his CV to a local foodbank, as he had an interest in volunteering. After a few weeks he was offered a voluntary role there. He also started to attend counselling for his anxiety. His CN4C Change Coach wrote letters to charities to try and get funding for a new laptop. After three months the Elmgrant Trust awarded him a grant of £280, and he has now purchased a brand-new laptop. He re-applied to take his Level 2 in English and Maths in September 2021. The caseworker continued to work alongside him, and contact was made weekly with a view to look at part time work. Information was sent to him about vacancies at a local community centre and park, where he would regularly go for a walk to bring down his anxiety levels.
In July he was offered a part time job of 15.5 hours working there as a maintenance worker. This is known as ‘permitted work’ so his ESA will not be affected – giving him an extra £142 a week to live on. This has been a huge steppingstone and achievement for him. He has continued to achieve his journey towards his desired goals with a view to increasing his self-esteem and confidence and to have more financial control and more structure in his life for himself and his son.