Chris is 59 and had been working as a Caretaker at a church, and loved his job, but was unfortunately made redundant in 2020. He’d been out of work since then and was at a very low ebb, feeling anxious and struggling from the loss of his Dad.

“When I lost my Dad, I was at my lowest and I didn’t know where to turn.”

Chris was attending the Buddies scheme in Sheffield, which is where he found out about Good Work. He began working with his employment specialist, who supported him to develop his CV, order a new birth certificate and work towards paid employment again. They worked together to build his confidence and Chris attended a confidence building course. Chris progressed so well that he attended a Jobs Fair by himself.

With the support of his employment specialist, Chris also went to the doctors for the first time in a very long time to speak about his anxiety.

To work towards employment, Chris and his employment specialist looked at volunteering opportunities for him, which they felt would be helpful to Chris in relation to getting out of the house and developing his experience. They managed to find a volunteering role at the church where he had previously worked, which Chris was really happy about.

Chris was later made aware of a paid caretaker position at the church and was very keen to apply and secure the job role. Chris couldn’t contemplate working anywhere else, so getting this job role meant the world to him.

Chris was initially worried about completing the application. It was an online form, which Chris would struggle to access and he is dyslexic, so a written application would also be difficult for him. His employment specialist worked with him to complete the online form by inputting the information that Chris talked through. Chris was successful and invited to interview, so he worked with his employment specialist to effectively prepare, practice and complete a mock interview. He attended the interview and was absolutely delighted to be offered the job!

Chris said: “When Sarah rang me I was practically in tears.”

Chris is now a few months into his new job role and is really enjoying it:

“I get on with everybody, they get on with me, it’s just great to be back where I belong!”

Chris continues to meet with his employment specialist every two weeks to make sure he is settled in his new job role.

Being back in work has given Chris renewed confidence and feels positive about the future. He’d like to stay in his current role until he retires and also hopes to marry his long-term partner and have the celebration at the church, alongside all of the staff!

Alice, Chris’ employment specialist said:

“Chris has gone from being quiet and insular but with the confidence of having this job back, he’s brightened up and has a gleam in his eye. He’s so happy about coming here to work and has given him a great reason to come into work every day to do the job he loves and with the people he loves.”