“When I first joined the Restart Scheme with Go Train, I was a mess.

“After bringing up 5 children on my own and working all of my life, I found myself out of work with a physical disability, and then the COVID pandemic hit. I have worked for the hospitality and pub industry for over a decade and whilst I was working in these areas, I could manage myself mentally but my physical disability with my back started to emerge.

“I carried on through the immense pain as that is all I have known. Gradually, I would wake up and not be able to get through the days which meant me being in bed for the majority of the time. I wouldn’t be able to move and so I had to start to think about getting answers with the health professionals. I also had a personal sadness to deal with that had been going on for the past 9 years. Being out of work meant that I was thinking about all this and getting more depressed, feeling that I was alone, old and useless.

“I then started coming to the Restart Scheme with Go Train in August 2021, but due to my health and wellbeing at the time, I wasn’t impressed at first. I met my Employment Advisor, Rose, half-way through and at this point, I was speaking to doctors and looking for support with my health in other services. I didn’t feel like I was being supported and I was constantly battling to find some peace.

“Rose was able to layout what the Restart Scheme had to offer and did this without judging anything that I had been through. We spoke about the support Seetec Pluss could offer with health and wellbeing and looked at areas of volunteering to get me out of the house away from my isolation. These were all tools for work preparation despite by health difficulties, but I couldn’t see the wood through the trees on this and it took some time for me to trust Rose. At every meeting we talked about strengths and positives with my work history and life skills.

“I then met Joanna Matthews, the Team Lead for Chippenham Restart Scheme Go Train, who actively listened to me around my concerns and supported me alongside Rose to have a three way chat with the Work Coach at Jobcentre Plus, to talk about strategies around being collaborative and engaging. This helped as I realised then that I could be supported and I could achieve more with myself.

“I was given advice and guidance on looking at services and organisations that could also support me. I was honest and said it felt like something else they were making me do but eventually, I started to enjoy coming in and knew I wasn’t alone. I took the opportunity to use the health and wellbeing service with Seetec Pluss and I was given goals to achieve, where I could think about my future again.

“I came to the Go Train Chippenham Job Fair in June, which was a huge step as it was a way of networking again which I hadn’t been in a position to do in three years. I enjoyed speaking to the different employers and had forgotten how much I enjoy communicating and interacting, much like being front of house in pubs. That was my personality coming back out again. After this, I felt my confidence coming back and I now start work in July 2022. I decided to go back into a supervisor role with hospitality work but focusing on the recruitment and training for staff, which is where my heart lies.”

Congratulations, Loraine! #NoOneLeftBehind

In partnership with Go Train UK Ltd. The Restart Scheme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Area: Wiltshire

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