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“Hopeful Families gave me certainty in an uncertain time” – Andrew’s story

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Andrew, age 60 self-referred to Groundwork, a Pluss Hopeful Families partner, shortly after being made redundant as a direct result of the Covid pandemic. He was determined to do whatever was needed to be done, to give himself the best chance of finding employment during such a difficult and uncertain time.

Andrew, who lives in the Wakefield area, said: “Work gives me independence. The pandemic created issues and I needed support to get access to training and increase my work prospects.”

He made enquiries to see what sort of construction jobs were in demand. Andrew had previously worked as a miner and so had good transferable skills. With suitable training he was likely to secure employment and getting back into work was Andrew’s top priority.

“Being made redundant during the Covid pandemic had a major impact on my prospects to find alternative work, not to mention my financial resilience. Suddenly there was this huge uncertainty. It was a worrying time.”

A family mentor worked with Andrew, providing 1-1 support. Suitable training was found, and they helped Andrew refresh his CV, to emphasise the skills Andrew wanted potential employers to take notice off. Other employability support was provided too, including a ‘better off in work’ assessment along with advice on work skill courses and money management support.

“I was on a low income. Without the help from Hopeful Families, I had really limited choices.”

Andrew undertook a specialist digger course, paid for by Hopeful Families and a CSCS and health and safety course. CSCS cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on site.

“I had the opportunity for paid training and given support to update my CSCS card. This opened new opportunities. I felt I was in a better place and more informed about options that were open to me, thanks to the support from my mentor.”

Hopeful Families really did make a difference to Andrew’s life.

“Through taking small steps to address the challenges due to the pandemic, I was able to turn my life around. I shifted my mind-set to a more optimistic one and was less anxious about the future.

“I felt I had no more barriers holding me back. Hopeful Families got me the training I needed and I’m grateful for the paid support I received. This training improved my work prospects, and I felt a huge burden has been lifted.”

After a few temporary roles, Andrew today is employed by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, in a housing maintenance role. He is optimistic about his future.

“Hopeful Families gave me certainty in an uncertain time. Having goals encouraged me to look for solutions.”

We would all like to wish Andrew all the very best for the future.

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