Despite having physical and mental health issues, unemployed Courtney Green was determined to play her part as lockdown restrictions were eased and she began looking for suitable vacancies.
 
Twenty-one-year-old Courtney sought help from the Work and Health Programme, known locally as Work and Health North West, as she was unsure of the type of work that she would be able to undertake. Delivered by Ingeus, Work and Health North West helps those who have been unemployed for a long time, as well as people with health conditions, into work.
 
“I was feeling so nervous about finding new employment,” said Courtney, who lives near Preston with her parents. “My confidence was at rock bottom, I also have a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a mental health condition that was caused by a traumatic event I experienced some years ago.
 
“I really wanted to find something that I could do that would not involve standing for long periods, but in my heart I was afraid that I might never be able to work again.”
 
Ingeus advisor Sara Akiotu was able to reassure Courtney that her previous experience as a support worker, for clients with mental health issues and children diagnosed with autism, would be a real bonus when applying for vacancies that involved engaging with the public. After revising her CV and receiving advice on interview techniques, Courtney applied to become a contact tracer to alert people who have been in close proximity to an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19.
 
“I feel really proud that I am doing my bit to help during the current crisis,” added Courtney. “I have completed all the necessary training and I am working from home, which is great for me as I can sit down to undertake the tasks involved.
 
“My Ingeus key worker was just brilliant and gave me the confidence to believe in myself again. All the advice I received was really helpful and without the support of Work and Health North West, I know that I would still be feeling negative about being unemployed.”
 
Work and Health North West is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and receives support from the European Social Fund.