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Christine's story

"Voluntary work is a great way to improve your skills and meet people and be valued by employers."

Christine, 42, had not been in paid work for 20 years and had been receiving Disability Living Allowance. Christine suffers from a mental health condition which made it difficult for her to find work.

Christine says:
“My self-esteem was very low and I lacked confidence in many areas of life, including meeting with people. I felt depressed at times because I came to the point when I wanted to work but lacked confidence.”

So Christine partook in voluntary work to help get some up-to-date work experience. She spent three years in voluntary work, which helped her to develop the skills she needed to do paid work.

Though she gained confidence through voluntary work, Christine still struggled with interviews. Christine decided to join Ingeus and her advisor organised a number of different workshops to help her with interviews.

Christine says:
“One of the barriers for me in finding work was getting through the interviews for jobs. Ingeus helped me with interview workshops and interview techniques and built my confidence. Assertiveness training also greatly helped in my looking for work. Ingeus were also supportive in the times when I did not receive offers of employment.”

Christine also received one-to-one support from one of Ingeus’ health specialists who worked with her on managing her health condition.

After six months Christine was offered a position as a Mental Health Worker and she gladly accepted. She is now working towards gaining a NVQ level three in Health and Social Care.

Christine says:
“I am now in work that I thoroughly enjoy and I look forward to developing the service to help other mental health service users reach their goals.”

Christine also received one-to-one support from one of Ingeus’ health specialists who worked with her on managing her health condition.”