"Tracey was the person I needed to meet at that moment in time, in my life.  I had been out of work for 2 years and not in full time for 10 + years.  Tracey was friendly, understanding and motivated enough for the both of us to help me return to work.  She encouraged me to look for something that I was interested in and wanted to do.  Also, she encouraged me to broaden my horizons a bit and not just look for things I'd done in the past, which would challenge me or fulfil my potential.  I would encourage others who find themselves in the same position I was to enrol with Evolve."

When Tracey at Citizen's Advice South East Staffs (CASES) met Lee* in February, he had a long history of mental health problems, particularly anxiety and depression.  He’d not had a permanent job in 15 years, had very little money, a strained relationship with his father and just 2 outfits to wear.  He was really worried about losing his ESA benefit as he was due an assessment.  He had a lifestyle in the past that he did not want to re-visit and he wanted to make a positive change in his life.  He told Tracey that he didn’t leave his house for a long time at one point and had become quite insular.

Lee enrolled onto Evolve and, with Tracey's help, set some realistic goals. Tracey supported him with preparing for his ESA assessment and he was put into the support group with a higher benefit rate which gave him breathing space and the ability to buy some new clothes.  He has come along such a long way since he first joined Evolve.  He has a clearer idea of what he wants to do with his future and he wants to go on a course in horticulture next year. 

Lee has started volunteering for CASES and has grown massively in confidence.  He now has a CV he feels happy with, he has started an ICT level 1 and 2 course and he is actively job searching.  His relationship with his father has improved because he has higher self-esteem and he is getting out of the house more.

Tracey says "Lee has been an absolute pleasure to work with and I am so glad that this project has helped him to value himself more and helped him to see his self-worth.  He has become a really popular member of the team and has grown in confidence and learned new skills.  I can’t wait to see what he will do next!"

 

*Lee’s name has been changed because he wanted to remain anonymous.