Charlene finds the key within herself to work

Charlene, age 30 joined the DWP/ European Social Funded Work Programme in March 2017. Charlene had previously been in employment, but whilst in employment she was struggling to fund her childcare and to cover the costs, which in turn was making her ill. Charlene was signed off sick with anxiety depression and eventually ended up leaving her job. Charlene said, “It was horrible being bored and depressed. I was stuck in bed all day, because I just couldn’t find any motivation to get up”.

After being moved onto Employment Support Allowance from Job Seekers Allowance her Jobcentre Plus advisor was keen for her to engage with Kennedy Scott’s Work Programme. The work Programme Team Leader Lizzie, spoke to Charlene on the phone saying: “There wasn’t anything I could do to encourage Charlene to come and see us. I just spoke to her and made her aware we would like to help her and if she feels up to it we were there” Charlene said, “The Jobcentre were trying to get me to see Kennedy Scott from November 2017 until about February 2018, but I couldn’t get out of the house, my anxiety and depression had got so bad. At times if someone was willing to take my daughter to school, I just wouldn’t even leave the house”. To help combat her depression, Charlene started CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and pushed herself to attend an initial meeting with Kennedy Scott.

After their initial meeting, Lizzie spoke to Charlene on the phone, where they had a frank conversation about Charlene’s therapy and she mentioned to Lizzie that she needed help putting a CV together. Lizzie said, “When I saw an opportunity for Charlene to come in and have an appointment with the National Careers Service to work on her CV, I phoned Charlene and offered her a place on the session, but only if she felt up to it”. Charlene felt that phone call was a pivotal point in her journey saying: “Just after I got back from my second session of CBT, I received the phone call from Lizzie. I knew I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to, but I just took that step. I went to the appointment, did my CV and after that I just pushed myself to go to the appointments with Lizzie”.

After being with Kennedy Scott for a while, Lizzie made Charlene aware of a recruitment day with LDC care co which she attended. The very next day she received a phone call from them offering her a job working as a care worker, where she started work in May 2018. This new job was made possible by the support network Charlene had now managed to build up around herself, and her new company were flexible enough to make her feel at ease. Charlene said, “I am so grateful to Lizzie for all her help, she has been an absolute star. With my new job, I’m now able to manage my life better, my working hours are a lot easier and I’m now able to work the hours I need as well as look after my daughter”

When asked how it feels being back in work, she said: “The only way I can describe this is while I wasn’t employed, it was so hard to get myself motivated. I would just sit there and cry. It takes over your life. Now that I’m back in work, I feel like my old self again. I feel there are so many more options out there for me now.”

Now being one of Kennedy Scott’s success stories Charlene said: “I would definitely recommend Kennedy Scott to anyone else. The help I received from them was amazing.”