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Simon had worked as an online Sales Assistant for a computer recycling company before going to university, but left due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was battling depression and anxiety, but was keen to work and needed support to look at job options and improve his self-belief.

Simon had researched and prepared to start on a self- employed basis, running a computer repairs and spares business. He had put a great deal of work into this and had identified premises. However, as the pandemic took further grip, he realised he didn’t want the uncertainty and stress of managing and building his enterprise. At this point, Simon felt very stressed and ‘wanted to give up everything as there was no point in trying anything’.

Initially, Simon struggled with commitment to the Work and Health programme due to his mental health. His Employment Coach, Loretta, tried repeatedly to engage him and finally Simon returned her call and said, ‘Don’t get rid of me, I do want to work with you!’ They immediately struck up a rapport.

Simon started engaging with his Employment Coach, who encouraged him, and they started exploring ideas. In February 2021, Simon had a further setback when he became ill with Covid-19. He was also battling with his depression, and with encouragement, he sought help from his GP.

Once he started getting back on his feet, he decided that he wanted to find work as soon as possible. His preference was to find a job with twilight or night shifts as he felt this would fit better with the social anxiety he was experiencing.

Simon worked closely with his coach to identify and apply for suitable roles. He had good experience within the hotel sector and was referred to NCS to get an effective supporting statement. The Employer Engagement team searched on his behalf, identifying a role as a night porter with a hotel. However, as he was about to progress with that application, in June 2021, he applied for a job on night reception with a well-known hotel chain by walking in with his CV and landed the job in record time!

Simon said, “I love my job, because not only do I realise that I’m good at it, but despite suffering from social anxiety, I love meeting people there! The job caters for all my mental health needs; I have a great boss, great hours and I get on well with all my colleagues, who are around the same age as me.

“I felt like giving up on myself. You were there constantly and wouldn’t let me give up. This made me think that if you won’t give up on me then maybe I shouldn’t give up on myself!

“Being with Seetec Pluss has helped my confidence and made me more self- assured. Every time I pick up the phone to you, you are amazing and give me a sense of direction. You figured out what I wanted and how to get there.

“You are a lifesaver! You have also helped me by funding mileage costs which is very helpful as I missed the salary cut off point by days and had financial hardship. When I told you that my clutch was on the way out, you arranged to fund a new one so I can continue to commute to my work!”

The Work and Health programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.

Area: Somerset

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