Opportunity & Change case study: Trevor

Posted 17.05.2021

Trevor is a participant with Opportunity & Change and has mental health issues including depression and anxiety and suffers with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He also had issues with alcohol which in turn was having a significant impact on his day to day life.  Trevor was living alone after the breakdown of his relationship and was not going out of the house and therefore became socially isolated.  He had mobility issues and had great difficulty moving around at times due to constant back pain and also suffers with asthma.

Trevor was already in receipt of support for his mental health from Framework’s Wellness in Mind team and Nottingham Recovery Network for his alcohol issues.

When I first met Trevor he kept his head down and would not make eye contact and had great difficulty communicating with me due to his anxiety.  He was also experiencing stress and worry with regards to his benefits.  He was in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and was due to attend a face to face assessment and had convinced himself that this would be a negative outcome.

During our first meeting we discussed training and employment but also what Trevor wanted and expected from Opportunity & Change.  At the time it was agreed that initially he would like to access courses at the Training Centre in Bulwell as this was close to where he was living and then possibly work towards paid employment.

At our next appointment Trevor informed me that he had received correspondence from the Department of Work & Pensions with regards to the outcome of his ESA face to face assessment and this confirmed that he would remain on ESA but would now be in the support group. This took a great weight off his shoulders and I actually saw him smile for the first time since meeting him and he made eye contact with me. Massive result!

Trevor informed me that he had been offered part time paid employment with a local butcher who he had previously worked for some years ago.  He had concerns about accepting this as he was worried about how this would affect the benefits he was currently in receipt of.

I explained to him that now that he was in the ESA support group he would be eligible to do permitted work and providing that the necessary paperwork was fully completed to inform the Department of Work & Pensions of the situation it would not affect his benefits.   This was completed at our next appointment.

Trevor started part time paid employment and is working 15 hours each week.  His role includes general duties, preparing meat to be displayed and sold in the shop and cleaning.

BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

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