Robert’s Story

Covid saw Robert loose his employment and confidence too, with the support of our team we helped Robert overcome his barriers and move back into paid employment

Robert has in the past had support through a previous programme we delivered and we helped him secure employment. As we went into Covid unfortunately Robert was let go from his employment. Alongside working Robert had been a key person in the care of his father until they managed to move him to a care home just before Covid. During the pandemic they were refused visiting rights because of the infection risk which on top of losing his job left Robert feeling extremely isolated. Robert has battled with mental health issues on and off for years but Covid and not being able to see his father added unmeasurable amounts of negative energy to his already existing mental health issues. 

When Robert contacted our service again, he was struggling to leave the home and venture out into society. Our employment coach spent time talking on the phone on a couple of occasions before Robert felt able to attend our meetings face to face. To help keep things less overwhelming for Robert we met at the jobcentre in a side room for privacy, a place he was familiar with. Robert was anxious but he filled us in on what he had experienced over the past 4 years and why he was struggling to understand why he still found it hard to leave the house after 3 years since the pandemic. He had tried to work once during this time as an apprentice accountant, but the environment was a small office overloaded with desks and Robert found it Claustrophobic especially with his anxiety about Covid. 

During our sessions we confirmed that he did not need support with employment skills as we did this previously and Robert had retained these skills. We talked about strategies to build confidence and we looked at possible volunteer options to help rebuild his confidence. After a few weeks we started to look at venues to volunteer as well as some part time roles he might be suited to, one especially was a previous employer, this grabbed his curiosity.

Robert has enjoyed feeling supported and being able to enjoy the sessions especially that fact they were relaxed, and he was encouraged to laugh a lot. He is happy to move on knowing that if he needs any support or guidance, he is still able to contact his Keyworker. 

Comment about Roberts progress on project

Robert’s confidence started to grow, he was making suggestions himself about opportunities and smiled a lot more. In his own time, he was going out into the local town more and doing some independent shopping which was something he had avoided for a long time.

We supported Robert to apply for some part-time jobs, but nothing immediately came back. Robert started chatting to friends about jobs and one even came back to him about a part-time job where he worked in he past. Robert applied and after a short interview was given the position. His first week was a little bumpy because after the first day he developed the flu. Robert’s anxiety returned and he checked for Covid on numerous occasions that first week. However, despite his anxieties and with the support of our team he returned to work the second week with only the lingering effects of the flu. Robert is pleased to have employment after 5 years of being unemployed and is feeling a sense of purpose again. 

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