“The Journey To Work course has improved my confidence and esteem and my overall attitude to life”

Kenneth Wale, 44 years old from Tamworth, joined the Evolve programme in September 2017. Due to a road traffic accident in 1997 he was left with multiple injuries to his abdominal region as well as his legs, arms and face. He had several operations to repair these injuries and as part of his rehabilitation he used crutches for a long period of time whilst recuperating at his parents’ home. He also experiences short term and some long term memory loss as a result of the accident.

Ken has been claiming benefits since March 2017 and is currently Economically Inactive. Following an initial meeting with Ken it was clear that his confidence and self-esteem were at an all-time low and his home life had been badly affected by this. He had not been actively looking for work for a while and felt that in his current circumstances no employer would take him on. The DRC Project Officers talked him through the benefits of joining the Journey to Work course which was due to take place at Maximity in Tamworth Town Centre and Ken agreed to go along.

It did not take long before Ken started to come out of himself and started to interact within the group. He was also put in touch with an Evolve partner for housing advice as one of his biggest barriers was that he had just moved back into the area and had no permanent living accommodation.

During the course, Ken was supported to produce an up-to-date CV, register with Universal Jobsmatch and is now looking into getting his SIA badge to move into Security work. The DRC Project Officers have worked closely with Ken to give him tips and ideas on where to look for suitable jobs and on how to apply for them. He has set up a separate email to use for job search purposes and has a copy of his CV electronically so he is feeling confident that he now has the skills, knowledge and tools he needs in order to look for work unaided.

Whilst working with Ken, it became clear that he also had a lot of knowledge on local history and this was clearly a passion of his. The Project Officers asked him if he might be interested in a volunteering role at Tamworth Castle Tourism and Information Bureau, an idea that had never occurred to Ken before. He agreed that this would be a great way to put all of his historical knowledge to good use as well as gaining some work experience and so he has applied for the role and is waiting to hear back from them.

Ken says that he is starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel regarding his future and employment. He has come a long way from being nervous to now feeling happy in himself and is looking forward to being back in permanent work very soon.