Employment success with Bolton at Home - Ian and Chloe's stories

Despite the pandemic and rising unemployment figures, Bolton at Home supported 160 people into paid work between April 2020 and March 2021. These employment areas include transportation, retail and warehousing.

Here’s how we helped two of our tenants to improve their finances, wellbeing and job prospects.

Ian’s story

A Facebook post about our employment service prompted *Ian to get in touch with us. He’d been working as a self-employed carpet fitter but had to stop because of his mental health problems. Ian wanted support getting back into work and our UCAN Project Officer, Abbie Murphy, stepped in to help.

Abbie worked with Ian to create a new CV and helped with job searching and applications. After discovering that Ian also had some money issues, Abbie asked our Starts with you Money Advice Service to help Ian get his finances back on track

As Ian opened up more about his mental health, Abbie referred him to our specialist counselling service. From there, Ian got in touch with mental health charities, WHYSUP and MHIST (Mental Health Independent Support Team), which meant he was able to talk to others experiencing similar problems. He has since signed up to an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course to help him keep on top of his depression and anxiety.

With employment support from Abbie, Ian went on to secure a job as a delivery driver before feeling well enough to resume work as a carpet fitter, running his own business.

He now does voluntary work for MHIST and has been helping to run a local support group for people with depression and anxiety. Keen to start a career working in mental health services, Ian is once again in touch with Abbie who is looking into courses and funding opportunities for him. After getting support for a range of issues, Ian says he’s in a much better place than he was eight months ago.

Chloe’s story

Young mum of two *Chloe was furloughed at the start of lockdown and was later made redundant. This led to some money problems and also had an impact on Chloe’s mental wellbeing. Already a member of one of our women’s groups, Chloe turned to our UCAN Project Officer, Christine Fitton, for support.

The first step was to help Chloe get a handle on her finances. Christine put her in touch with the Local Welfare Provision at Bolton Council, which supports people in financial crisis. Chloe got help to pay for her electricity and was also referred to our own Money Advice Service. With Chloe out of work, Christine knew it would be an anxious time for the young mum so the two kept in regular contact. Chloe also kept herself busy and learned some new skills by taking advantage of the online Facebook videos and women’s activity packs that Christine had put together.

Just recently, Chloe has felt ready to return to work and is keen to do some training to improve her job prospects. After being booked in a for a phone appointment with Christine to write a new CV, Chloe’s phone was cut off. Undeterred, the pair worked together using Facebook Messenger.

Chloe has gone on to do some online courses, which have been funded by the UCAN Team. She continues to get support as she moves forward with her plans to get back into work.

Further details on how we can people with money worries, health and personal wellbeing, and employment or training, are at www.boltonathome.org.uk.

You can read ‘Making an impact that matters’, our Employment and Enterprise Service’s 12-month impact report, at www.boltonathome.org.uk/getting-into-work.

 *names changed to protect privacy. Image from Shutterstock.