AL was already engaged with WWT when lockdown started, and the Employment Specialist (ES) and AL had been applying for roles that revolved around community engagement/wellbeingwhilst also thinking about AL’s other options in terms of a career path as she wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to be doing. AL expressed that she had the idea of doing faith and fitness classes, as she had previously been a fitness instructor, but was worried about being self-employed. ES offered to refer her to our Business and Enterprise specialist but AL felt she would rather not explore that option for now. 

When lockdown started AL expressed that she would like to put her job search on hold, as she did not feel the type of jobs she wanted would be available now, and she was finding dealing with the lockdown itself challenging. The ES and AL agreed to do weekly check ins by phone call, that did not have to be employment related, but would mean the AL could discuss her general wellbeing. We checked in, and AL began to feel more confident and started to do her faith and fitness exercise group via Zoom for her friends. This took off hugely, and AL now has people joining from all over the UKThe people doing her class showed their appreciation of AL’s work recently by clubbing together to buy AL a new laptop for her birthday as a surprise, so she could conduct the classes more easily 

AL has now been contacted by several church groups asking her if she would do classes for them once lockdown has been lifted, which prompted AL to reconsider a referral to B&E specialist. AL has now been referred and feels more confident in her potential to be self-employedES and AL are now also beginning to think more about roles that AL could start applying for once restrictions have been eased more and AL feels it is safe.  

Client quote: 

“Initially I was feeling vulnerable, scared and alone!!  
The meetings I had previously with the ES were positive and I was hopeful about my future!  Then Lockdown came and I didn't know what to do, to be honest I was shocked when the ES told me she will still continue to work with me through this pandemic! I really thought it was all over!! 

During our meetings we discussed what my goals are and the things I'm passionate about, different career paths!!   After a few weeks of meeting on the phone, I started to feel hopeful again, realising I can still plan for when this is over! 

Being a Fitness instructor for 22yrs, one of my career goals was to teach Faith and Fitness classes, which I previously developed but was to mentally and physically unwell to teach!!  I did discuss this with the ES who helped me to feel it could still be a possibility!!  I decided to start a small group on Zoom teaching Faith and Fitness!! I am a Christian and the exercise is based around The Armor of God, so we do an exercise for each piece of Armor!! 

I did not advertise, it was just word of mouth through friends! 
Within weeks it started to grow and I now teach Monday to Friday For 30mins on Zoom! And Tuesday evening's!  I now have people joining in from different parts of the UK!! Gloucester, Bristol, Birmingham etc...  

Although this is a difficult time, with the help of Working Well and not forgetting God!!! I have found something that's not just helping me but really uplifting others too. Many thanks to the ES who listens to my worries and woes every week, encourages me to keep going and helps me to have a realistic perspective!!” 

BA registered with the employment service in September 2019 and identified that she would like to look for part time roles in warehouses/cleaning/elderly care. BA had previously been a childcare assistant for several years and wanted to move away from this.  

They attended an interview with a retail store that Working Well Trust had a link with but was unsuccessful due to her availability but had positive feedback. BA and the Employment Specialist (ES) continued job searching in line with her preferences. BA was contacted by a childcare agency she had previously worked for and asked to come for an interview. BA cancelled this twice and when we discussed their reasons it became clear that they wanted to keep childcare roles out of the picture. ES and BA therefore worked together to change her CV to take the emphasis away from childcare so she would not be contacted by agencies. BA decided to concentrate on cleaning roles as warehouse work was difficult to find. The ES and BA applied for several roles, and BA heard back from one agency, and was asked to come to an interview. She was offered the role as a house cleaner, and started the next week.  

ES and BA are now continuing to meet to discuss how work is going and what BA would like her next steps to be.   

 Quote from BA 

“When being employed I felt like there was something I achieved since being off work for so long with my mental health. I felt like having a job even for a short while helped to keep busy and that I had something to focus on.”

RA registered with Working Well Trust (WWT) in January 2018. When he registered he was unsure whether WWT would help him look for work because of his diagnosis of schizophrenia and a judgment that he wouldn't cope with employment. He was also reluctant as he thought there would be a push for him to work any type of employment/hours and that and that employers would have prejudices against his mental health and previous conviction. 

WWT discussed long and short-term employment options with RA and accompanied him to meet with employers in the local area. RA demonstrated an interest in working in the mental health field and in helping others in their recovery. WWT discussed peer support with RA and he highlighted this is something he would like to work towards in the long term. Due to this interest, RA was invited to sit on the first IPS Steering Group panel in April with WWT and the ELFT Chief Operating Officer. RA's contribution to this meeting was outstanding, he pointed out many issues around stigma and the importance of mental health professionals and Employment Specialists believing in their clients as a first step toward recovery.

RA was assisted to achieve his short-term goal to work in a part time job whilst working toward his career in peer support. He started part time work with JD Sports in May and is enjoying this role. WWT is continuing to support RA with his long-term goal and is in the process of assisting him to apply for peer support training via ELFT.

 Quote from RA

"Employment gives me a reason to get up in the morning; I feel more self-respected and the people around me, like my neighbours, they are more willing to respect me if they see me going to work". 

makes me feel self-worthy