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Grounds care is a breath of fresh air for Daniel

Coventry man Daniel had been a depot operator for 12 years, when his job came to an end when he was made redundant. This sudden switch from being in a stable job to having no work really shocked him, and this played a big part in Daniel drinking more heavily to cope with this.

After being unemployed for eight months Daniel did find work as a warehouse picker back in August 2010, however, this only lasted for one month before his problems saw him return to benefits. His Jobcentre Plus adviser then referred him onto the Work Programme with Interserve Learning & Employment and he had his initial interview with their local delivery arm, sencia, in 2012.

Daniel was assigned to Jacquie Whitehead, one of sencia’s experienced Case Managers. Jacquie was concerned for Daniel from the outset as she could tell that he had quite significant issues to deal with before he would be ready to return to work. With minimal background information available, on him she worked hard to gain his trust and for him to open up. During one of their one-to-ones, she had a breakthrough and Daniel let her know that being out of work made him feel like he had no purpose in life and depressed, and that when it got too much he would turn to drink. The worst of his binging episodes lasted up to a week, and over time this was having long-term effects on his health. He was in a serious situation and had been hospitalised a number of times due to damage to his liver, and after a recent relapse it was essential that he managed to abstain for good.

Daniel was eager to turn his life around but struggled to cope with his awful withdrawal symptoms, and Jacquie knew that she had to take action to keep him on track. She helped him access specialist support from an alcohol addiction group which he attended daily, as well as persuading him to move back in with his parents so that he had a support network around him all hours of the day. She also enrolled him onto an Employability Skills course at the centre so that he would have purpose and a goal to work towards, as well as getting him out of the house each day.

As he improved, Jacquie worked to get him job-ready. Daniel had told her he would like to work outdoors for example, as a gardener or groundskeeper.

Through job-searching they found a grounds maintenance operative vacancy at a University in the Midlands. Having completed his employability skills Daniel was much more confident in his abilities, and the interview preparation saw him pass with flying colours; he was offered the job the very next day! He’s now been working there happily since August of last year, and he stays in contact with Leanne, his In-Work Support Adviser as well as Jacquie who likes to check he is still on track.

Jacquie said “Daniel has overcome enormous barriers, through sheer determination he’s completely changed his life. Just the other day he let me know that he’s now got a girlfriend and in a stable relationship, from being at rock bottom he’s now got a job and a life ahead of him”.

Daniel told us: “It was so nice to have someone listen to me without judging me, and to get me the help I needed. I don’t know where I’d be without Jacquie’s help.” Having done well in his temporary role, his employer has made a permanent job available which Daniel hopes to get to ensure his change for the better is a lasting one.

Jacquie added: “Daniel has a perfect attendance record and his employer is really happy with him, I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for him.”

*Name of customer has been changed to protect customer’s identity

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