Former Steps to Work customer Tommy Nichols made headlines last week when he helped emergency service staff get to and from work in the snow in his 4X4.

Among the people he helped, Tommy drove nurses and injured people to hospital, doctors back to their homes after a long day at work and care workers to residential homes.

Tommy was referred to the work programme at Steps to Work after 6 months unemployed. He had been dealing with mental ill health which had made it difficult for him to find work and he was no longer interested in continuing his career as a machine operator. Unsure how to go about a career change, Tommy received support from his advisor at Steps to Work to gain the skills and experience needed to pursue his dream career as a care worker.

Tommy had some domestic experience having cared for his father and with the help of his advisor he was able to get a foot in the door through voluntary work which ultimately led to the offer of a full time paid position.

Recently Tommy had to leave his job as a community support worker to care for his wife and three children when his wife fell ill but that hasn’t dampened his spirits or his desire to help others. As soon as Tommy heard that people needed help to get to work or hospital he got straight in his 4X4 to lend a hand, using £100 worth of diesel to support the community. “People needed help so, of course, I helped” he said.

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people, particularly those who are out of work. Steps to Work wanted to show Tommy that they were proud of how far he has come and his generosity and wanted to give something back. He was invited to visit Steps to Work on the 21st of December where the work programme team presented him with Christmas treats for his family and £50 worth of high street vouchers.

“We are so proud of Tommy, he came a long way when he was with us on the work programme and made a real impression on us all. He’s such a naturally caring and generous person, even when times are tough he still stepped up and wanted to help others. We hope that Tommy and his family will enjoy the gifts and have a great Christmas and New Year, they deserve it.” Rizwana Hussain, Work Programme manager, said.

Steps to Work CEO James Walsh added “it’s fantastic to see our customers thrive, Tommy achieved so much on the Work Programme and he should be immensely proud. His positivity and kindness is an inspiration. At Steps to Work we pride ourselves in helping people to overcome their barriers in life and our support goes further than just getting them back into work. We want Tommy and all of our customers past and present, to know that we support them and are here from them. We wanted to give something back to Tommy as a thank you for supporting the community and being a true hero!”