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  • Johnny’s Story

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Johnny’s Story

Jonathan Strike joined the Wise Steps programme at TEN in October 2019. Johnny was unemployed, in receipt of Universal Credit and was referred to TEN by Learning Concepts. At the time of referral Johnny was attending the Learning Concepts job club on a weekly basis. Johnny was having financial difficulties due to taking a series of temporary jobs throughout the previous two years, which was having an impact on his ability to live day by day. Because of the nature of Universal Credit and moving in and out of work, he had problems paying bills and experienced issues with historical rent arrears.

Johnny was at a very low ebb and was considering moving away from the north east to be with family in London. He was not in a position financially to up sticks but he was feeling desperate and struggling to keep his head above water, this was taking a toll on his mental wellbeing.

Johnny’s and his Coach, Simon discussed the options available to him on the Wise Steps programme.   Johnny initially was referred onto the programme to gain a CV, which Simon made a start on immediately. They decided to make several referrals to the programme’s specialists support network. They discussed the Counselling services, the Wellbeing Challenge to improve his social network and increase his confidence and self-esteem and Leonard Cheshire to improve his IT skills   He was reluctant and decided against these ideas at the time because he was so low due the situation he was in.

Johnny was happy to be referred to Citizens Advice for financial advice and benefit guidance in line with his situation. It was established during Johnny’s one to ones that it was not beneficial for him to take temporary jobs because of the circumstances he found himself in. Johnny felt he was under extreme pressure by the jobcentre to take any work he was capable of doing in line with his jobseekers agreement.  During the time he spent discussing the help he required to get back into work, he was referred to several food banks because he couldn’t afford to buy food.

Johnny didn’t hesitate to make a start applying for jobs with the CV that was produced for him. Johnny’s approach to getting a job was the old fashioned way and he always thought the best way to get attention was to turn up at the employers address with CV in hand.  And although he was supported to applying with his CV online and in the post this was his preferred method of applying for work.

TEN assisted Johnny with bus and metro fares whilst he travelled about dropping off CVs to potential employers.  Simon and he compiled a history log of the employers as a guide to follow up on and to track the employers he had visited.

When lockdown happened the March 2020 Simon maintained contact with Johnny, supporting him with job search and wellbeing remotely throughout.   Because of his determination to visit employers face to face prior to lockdown Johnny received a phone call out of the blue from an employer asking him if he would like to come in for a chat, and two days later he received another phone call asking him if he would like to start work the following Monday.

Johnny has been with Bondchem Ltd since May 2020 on a permanent contract firstly as a Production Operative and now a Site Maintenance Assistant.   He is extremely happy working with Bondchem and is positive about his future, his rent arrears were overturned and he received an apology from the council regarding a clerical error.

Johnny says, “I have been with a handful of providers and mainstream services over the years but Wise Steps at TEN has surpassed them all. They took the time to listen, advise and help me move forward, they couldn’t do enough to help. I would highly recommend Wise Steps and TEN to anybody in need of direction and support.”

Wise Steps at TEN is recruiting now. Contact us for more information.

Simon states, “It was extremely satisfying to support Johnny overcome his challenges in finding employment. I am delighted that he has secured a sustainable job with a local employer.”