"I wouldn't be in work without Pluss" - Alec's story

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Alec was referred to the Work and Health Programme in April 2018.

Initially, when Alec came to Pluss he was experiencing significant issues with anxiety and depression. As a result, he had become socially isolated and was struggling with social interaction.

Alec's previous career had seen him hold significant responsibility for IT and business development. He had a raft of skills and experience, and needed to rebuild his confidence to find a route back into work.

Alec recognised that to move forward he needed to place himself in situations that he would find fairly challenging. Deborah, Alec's Change Coach, supported Alec to participate in small training groups and job clubs that were running at the Pluss office in Taunton. She supported Alec to develop strategies to deal with his anxiety.

Deborah also supported Alec to identify 'hidden' vacancies and helped him to apply for a couple of opportunities with employers who would offer Alec the support he needed to sustain employment.

Alec has now been offered a role with Davitt Jones Bould Real Estate. Alec prepares conference rooms for visitors and undertakes IT support, making great use of the skills he has accumulated during his career.

His place of work is around the corner from where he lives and he has already been asked to be a key holder. This also means Alec can take his breaks at home if he is feeling slightly anxious. He also has our support on tap.

Prior to interview and starting work, Pluss supported Alec to feel more confident by covering costs of a haircut and clothes for interview, and subsequently some smart clothes for work. This made Alec feel confident about fitting in to his new working environment.

Alec is now working full-time and is appreciative of the support he has received through Pluss' Work and Health programme.

"When I was first signed up to the programme, I was very anxious about meeting new people. Once I actually got there, I was made to feel more at ease.

"When I started the training part of the programme, there was a slight blip and I had to leave. Everyone was very supportive when I came back and shortly after this Deborah arranged some volunteering work for me when the job I'm now in came up.

"It was a huge step to agree to go forward with it, but Deborah helped with rewriting my CV and speaking to the person advertising the job.

"Because I had been out of work for some time, I had no suitable clothes to start my new job. Pluss helped with this and got me some trousers, shirts and shoes.

"I am very grateful to Pluss and especially Deborah for helping me improve my confidence. I wouldn't be in this job without their help."

The Work and Health Programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund.