Towards Work case study: Derby College

Posted 13.05.2021

Marian has bipolar disorder and joined the Toward Work programme with Derby College when she was unemployed.

Derby College supported Marian with debt advice and have attended appointments with her to help her process the information and to carry out next steps. They helped Marian to update her CV and have supported her with looking at different career paths that met her needs without having an impact on her wellbeing. Due to her bipolar disorder she would also ignore any issues and not take action, for example not making GP appointments or dealing with debt.  This was supported by talking things through and encouraging her to make the calls during her work coach appointments so any additional support could be provided.

There were times when it was difficult for Marian to meet up for appointments due to her mood and anxieties, but during these times Derby College kept in contact using text as during these low points she would not answer her phone.

During lockdown contact was only via messaging but then a phone call was answered, and this was the start of regular contact and then face to face visits. Support was provided looking for part time work options along with the loan of a college laptop so that Marian could continue job searching at home. She had two interviews from these applications and support was provided for travel to these.

During a face to face visit another work coach on the programme mentioned a job that was advertised on Facebook.  Marian applied for the job and then after researching the role found out that the job was on the same street where she lived! Marian was invited to interview and was successful in gaining the job as a cleaner for the apartments in the city. She were very anxious on her first day due to all the changes of gaining work and having changes to her personal life. Derby College spoke about these concerns and the importance of recognising how far she had come on her journey to this point. Derby College offered 3 weeks in work support and during this time better off in work calculations have been undertaken to work out the best amount of hours Marian should work as contract is flexible.  Marian has also been supported with getting clothes for work and answering any questions regarding concerns she had.

Marian is now feeling very positive about her employment and her wellbeing has improved greatly.

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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