After breaking up with his partner, James spent seven years homeless and suffering from depression in London. Eventually, James made it back to Manchester, where his family and two daughters were based, to continue transforming his life through the Ready for Work Programme:
“I came back to Manchester after being on the streets in London for a long time. I had the chance to get back together with my family and kids so I wanted to find work and make that happen.
I was a bit all over the place when I moved here again but I got support from Justlife [a community organisation in Manchester]. I was going there for about six weeks before they put me in touch with Chris at Business in the Community.
“ It felt good to have a job but scary too – it was a lot of responsibility ”
When I went to an interview and to register for Ready for Work it was really scary. I’d been out of work for seven years but I had to think about my girls and do my best to find work.”
Although James found being with so many people stressful in the first two days of training, his confidence grew and he continued with his two week placement through SkyBlue.
“I was placed with Tameside Borough Council, working on their loading bay. The placement gave me the chance for people to get to know who I was and to show them what I could do.
I was really pleased when things worked out and I got offered a job as a caretaker in community centres. It felt good to have a job but scary too – it was a lot of responsibility.”
James really appreciated the support he received from BITC and SkyBlue, Carillion and continues to work for the company;
“Ashley who interviewed me for my work placement has been really supportive. She still calls me now to check everything’s ok. It’s nice to know you’ve not been forgotten about once you’ve got a job. My line manager has been amazing too. When I slipped back into depression he called and said he wanted to support me.
I’m about to move into a new job as a caretaker in schools which I’m looking forward to. It’s been a challenge to get here” he says “but I’m sticking with it.”