Billy was supported by our Pluss Health & Wellbeing team during his time on the Restart Scheme. Here’s his story about how his support has inspired his next career.
“Before I came onto the Restart Scheme in August 2021, I was quite apprehensive as I had been working just a month before. I had asked at the Jobcentre about the possibility of having help training to become a lorry driver and felt somewhat “fobbed off” to be referred onto a return-to-work scheme.
“I had been through some challenging experiences at university which saw me graduate with a degree in Social Studies rather than Social Work which I had been reading for. I had taken a particularly long route which entailed two years at college beforehand so in total I had been a mature student for 6 years, only to have my goal taken away from me at the last hurdle.
“Since leaving university, I had been working unskilled jobs due to not having the self-confidence to work in the field I had trained for so long for and suffering from depression. My initial impression of the Restart Scheme was positive as my Employment Advisor listened to me and respected what I had to say and arranged for me to start seeing Ellen as my Health and Wellbeing Coach with Pluss.
“I had previously asked for mental health support from my doctor on more than one occasion and I had been assessed and found to meet the threshold for some counselling. However, as I was not an immediate threat to myself or others this turned out to be a long wait and then after 6 months, I was told that due to the lockdown I would need to reapply once the local Steps2Wellbeing service had resumed. This only fed my depressive thoughts around the hopelessness and helplessness of my situation, not to mention the impact of social isolation living alone in a less than ideal bedsit with ‘housemates’ who’s behaviour was often anti-social.
“So, when I first met Ellen, I was in quite a dark and lonely place which I think she recognised quite quickly. During our first few sessions I was given the time and space to just talk whilst Ellen actively listened, feeding back her intelligent and useful thoughts and suggestions. I was very impressed with her practice as somebody who had genuine knowledge and the passion, drive and ability to implement it.
“The service provided by my Health and Wellbeing Coach at Seetec Pluss was one which allowed me the space to express what my barriers to working were and then work towards removing them; it was an in-depth assessment followed by meaningful action. A lot of my problem was low self-confidence and it was quickly discussed that working in an environment where I can utilise my skills and passion would be good for me.
“There was also a great practical intervention where upon learning I had not reapplied to Steps2Wellbeing regarding access to counselling, Ellen sat me down with her laptop and encouraged me to apply there and then understand how I had lost faith in the service and needed that little push. It was a quick process, and while I am still waiting for the counselling, the fact that I have applied and something is moving forward removed one of the many sources of anxiety I had in my unconscious mind.
“Through our sessions together, I really benefited from having room to explore and speak about the things in my life that were causing my low self-esteem. I was always reassured that they were happy to help which really helped me view the sessions in a positive light which for me was rare. Due to my depression, I was not able to see very much at all in a positive light.
“I had been impressed from the very start with how well the whole team at Seetec Pluss worked together and had considered it would be a really nice place to work. I didn’t have the confidence to express this explicitly, only referring to having had experience of being on the other side of the desk in my Social Work Studies when speaking with Ellen. However, over time, as my confidence grew, (which can be directly linked to Ellen’s strong listening skills and accurate observations), I decided to ask if there were any jobs going and I am happy to say the staff I spoke to were all really supportive of the idea. They spoke to me about a couple of job roles and encouraged me to apply which I did!
“It feels good to be working towards my goal of having a career helping people to reach their potential again and I cannot speak highly enough of the support provided by my Health and Wellbeing Coach at Seetec Plus which is undeniably a big reason I am at this stage today.”
We are thrilled to say that Billy has been offered the role as an Employment Advisor on the Restart Scheme and is due to start at the end of January!
In partnership with Pluss. The Restart Scheme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Area: Bournemouth, Dorset.