The Yorkshire Evening Post is marking day two of our series of stories for the ‘Let’s Work Together Campaign’, run jointly by the YEP and Reed In Partnership, with a personal story from someone who finally found a job they love, after years of struggle.
We are highlighting Better Working Futures - available through Jobcentre Plus - in a bid to raise awareness and help more people, who might struggle to find a job for a variety of reasons, into work.
Today we talk to Syed Rahman, from south Leeds, who has suffered from severe anxiety and depression for many years.
He tells of his experience in the hope of inspiring others and reveals how he has finally found a job he loves, as a carer with Carewatch Leeds.
Syed, 40, said: “I was the victim of an assault when I was younger and it really knocked my confidence.
“I was jumped by two men and beaten in Leeds city centre, which left me in hospital.
“It wasn’t until I was about 33 that I found out I had a learning disability dyspraxia, and that I also suffered ADHD, which is probably why I really struggled at school without any additional help.
“I hope things have changed now for kids at school, but I do want to encourage anyone else struggling to get the right kind of support in seeking work as there are people out there who can help.
“I never really knew what was wrong back then as my condition was never diagnosed.
“Later, when I was made redundant, I hit rock bottom and couldn’t imagine working again, as my confidence hit an all time low.”
Syed was referred from the Jobcentre Plus to the programme and at his initial appointment it was evident he had low self-esteem and confidence, and was unsure of what suitable positions to apply for.
He knew that he wanted a job but didn’t know where to start looking.
David Royle, operations manager for Better Working Futures across Leeds, said: “We supported him in building his confidence and accessing counselling.
“He was also supported in increasing his employability skills through training and we supported him in applying for suitable positions and completing application forms for various posts.
“He was also submitted to the Recruitment Managers vacancies.
“We conducted a mock interview and he was successful securing a position at Carewatch Leeds.
“We also paid for a DBS and gave him travel passes to attend training.
Syed added: “I used to find going to the job centre a nightmare. I would never have imagined working as a carer but it really suits me and I enjoy it.
“I found great support from Reed In Partnership, who have helped me to get help with the way I was feeling with doing this and fighting the battle.
“I worried for years about getting a job - now I love my work. I can feel the change in myself. It has helped me so much I cannot stress enough all I can say is a massive thank you’.
“I now enjoy helping others, where at one time it was me who needed the help.”
Better Working Futures is Reed in Partnership’s name for the Work and Health Programme in Yorkshire and the North East, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and European Social Fund. If you are struggling to find work and would like to know what free support is available to help you, visit betterworkingfutures.co.uk
Read more from Syed’s employers at Carewatch Leeds in tomorrow’s Yorkshire Evening Post and how they know they found the right man for the job.
What is Better Working Futures?
Better Working Futures helps people address their barriers to employment, focusing largely on those with disabilities and other health conditions, including mental health issues and learning disabilities.
The support is completely free and participants can get help to prepare for work including managing their health, accessing skills training courses, searching and applying for jobs that suit their skills and personal circumstances, plus practicing for interviews.
They will also get support to deal with other issues, such as housing and finance and how to cope with a job and staying in work.
Each participant is paired up with a friendly employment adviser who will take the time to understand their needs.