Steve's journey towards becoming a volunteer began when he was referred to i2a by the Jobcentre. He had been put onto JSA having been claiming ESA for the last few years due to being diagnosed with Menieres disease, which significantly affects his balance and therefore ability to work.
Steve does not feel ready to return to the workplace and is appealing the decision to move his benefit from ESA to JSA. We agreed a plan of work to support him to meet the conditions for his JSA claim whilst also having a positive impact on Steve.
Steve is a talented wood worker and makes bespoke walking sticks and other items out of wood. He really enjoys this and likes to work with his hands. We agreed to try to find some provision allowing him to do this in order to keep busy and support his employability.
Steve came to Get On, i2a’s employability support group sessions and was referred to Verity at Cosmic for support using the computer. The work they completed with Steve included synchronising his E-mail account to his phone so that he can access his job search from anywhere, and they looked into what his options are with reference to getting the internet at home. We completed an application for the Loan IT scheme.
I referred Steve to the Men’s Shed, where he can go and complete his woodwork with other like minded people, getting him out of the house and increasing his motivation.
Steve was referred to Furnicare where he began to volunteer. Here he will be repairing furniture in preparation for sale, giving him an up to date reference, valid work experience, taking care of some of his job seeking hours and most importantly giving Steve something to go and do and make a positive impact on a regular basis.
‘Prior to working with Verity at Cosmic, I was unable to log into my job match account or use my phone to complete my job search. I am now able to complete my job search from my phone.
I feel that I have come out of my shell since attending these groups which has been very useful. Before I couldn’t get on with crowds but I now feel that I can manage crowds and get on with people quite well.’
‘It is very good to come up to the drop in and certainly helps. It has been good to get back into contact with the rest of the world. It has been very very helpful and the referrals to FurniCare and The Men’s Shed have been brilliant. It has also been useful to receive support to log my job seeking hours, which makes sure I don’t have my benefits stopped.’
‘The Men’s Shed is brilliant. There are allot of people down there and I feel this has really been bringing me out of my shell, along with attending the Job Club and Eat that frog, which is a support group that helps with my Health and Wellbeing.’ Steve, now a volunteer.
I feel that I have come out of my shell since attending these groups which has been very useful. Before I couldn’t get on with crowds but I now feel that I can manage crowds and get on with people quite well."