Rob Beedles, 56, is a Workshop Maintenance Assistant at Helston Fabrications.
After being unemployed for 25 years, Rob was referred to Pluss on the Work Choice programme to help him find work. Rob has recently completed a four month Pluss traineeship© and has now been offered permanent work at Helston Fabrications.
Rob had been through many difficult times including managing multiple health conditions, drug and alcohol addiction, and being homeless for 10 years.
Rob is a quiet, thoughtful and unassuming gentleman with a fantastic work ethic. He lives in Cannes Tan near Helston.
Pluss delivers Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions specialist disability employment programme. Work Choice receives funding from the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.
“I get up at 6.00 am and I’m here at 6.45 am. I am normally the first one here as it opens at 7.30. I keep myself busy until midday. I don’t mind what I do. I’ll tidy, paint, maintain – I always find something to do.
“I hadn’t worked for 25 years. This was for several reasons – mainly due to my health, depression and addiction to alcohol and drugs. I suffer from spinal damage, vascular disease, and I’m asthmatic and diabetic. I had an operation to put in a graft from the bottom of my heart to the main arteries in both legs.
“I was a welder before and have lived in Cornwall for 30 years. I was homeless for 10 years and sold the Big Issue. I slept on the streets in Truro and toured around. It wasn’t too bad in the summer but not good in the winter months. Living on the streets and selling the Big Issue is really hard. I would be standing there in the street, in the cold and would get abuse from people. It hardens you. I saw so many of my friends dying in front of me, literally by the hundreds.
“Then I managed to get myself off the alcohol. I did it by myself. I was working on a bit of land and the kids used to vandalise it, so the lady who owned it allowed me to live in a static caravan on her land. That gave me a home.
“I then discovered Pluss. I do not know how I would have got work without them. I knew I had something to offer but couldn’t see where to start.
“They helped me to get this job and were there any time I needed them. This job started off with a work trial for eight weeks. Then I was offered the traineeship. They got me a taxi to and from work, and helped me get personal independence payments and working tax credits. I’m positively rich now!
“The hours are perfect for me too as I can’t do a full day. After four hours I start to be in pain, so I work three mornings a week with a day off in between.
“It feels great to be back in work and not relying on benefits. I think I’ve done great; I have changed my life completely. Working has given me a reason to get up in the morning.
Roger Phillpott, Director at Helston Fabrications
“When Rob first started here he was really quiet and lacked confidence. He barely spoke to anyone. He did everything off his own back and wouldn’t ask anyone.
“In the last five months he has found his own role in the company as a maintenance man. He has a great work ethic and does all the stuff that we don’t get a chance to do. He is always here before me in the mornings and is very good at working under his own initiative. Rob finds what he needs to do and just does it. It’s brilliant. The workshop runs a lot better when he is here.
“Now Rob has really grown from a stranger to a friend. He has definitely gained in confidence with the other guys. Talking to us all and last week he bought us all in bunches of flowers from his garden. He knows the machinery too which is vital as some of the machines are very dangerous.
“When Pluss approached me and explained about Rob, I didn’t have any concerns. We saw that he grows flowers and makes jam that he donates to local foodbanks and churches. This said volumes to me about the sort of person he is and that’s what drew us to him.”