Paul came onto Action Mental Health’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Programme in December 2020 having been unable to work for 20 years due to his disability. He was very motivated for going to work but felt that his confidence, lack of qualifications, and experience were preventing him from taking that step to look for employment.
Lockdown then hit in January 21 so Paul was having weekly meetings with his Employment Specialist on Zoom and the first job he felt would be suitable was a position in the Ulster Hospital as a Service Assistant. Paul had also previously mentioned that he would like to gain a qualification so this was discussed further with his Employment Officer who suggested he could complete a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate online to help him fulfill the Desirable Criteria on the application – he successfully completed this within days of the discussion.
Paul got an interview in the Ulster Hospital and although he wasn’t successful at that time his confidence was growing as he had achieved a qualification and also gained some interview experience. Paul continued to look for jobs, had an interview with Robinsons Cleaning Services for a part-time cleaning position, and was successful. He started working in Randox Health in June 21 for 12 hours per week and then offered a further 3 hours. Paul takes great pride in his job, works very conscientiously, and now feels he has a purpose.
“Being on the IPS Programme really helped me to see that work was an option and it has been brilliant for me. It has given me something to focus on other than my mental health and has made such a positive difference to me. I am also much richer and happier.”