“I am so happy that I found BRIDGES as the one to one support and the support of the group sessions has really helped me to build confidence and believe in myself again”

Martin had been out of work for just over 8 years when he joined the BRIDGES project. After struggling with addiction he found it difficult to be able to hold down a job and as a result Martin lost confidence.

Martin’s previous work experience was in pub/kitchen work and he wasn’t prepared to go back into that type of work as he didn’t want to put himself into a situation where there would be temptation to return to drinking, so Martin wanted help finding suitable work outside of his previous experience.

As well as a lack of confidence Martin suffers mental health problems, mainly due to feeling isolated as a result of his addictions. Martin also suffers from lung disease which has ruled out a number of potential job options as he cannot work in dusty environments such as warehouses and factories.

Martin joined the BRIDGES project in January 2017 after being referred by the job centre for a one to one meeting. Martin was in a difficult position, lacking confidence and self-esteem and faced with having to find a new career path and make decisions for his future, all of which was very overwhelming.

BRIDGES project officer Michelle offered one to one careers advice and support to Martin where they discussed the different types of work that would suit his skills and health issues. Michelle suggested manual outside work and Martin applied for a position as a leaflet distributor. With Michelle’s help in updating his CV and applying Martin was invited to interview.

Michelle supported Martin with interview techniques to prepare him for the interview. They felt that the job would be well suited to Martin as being outdoors in the fresh air would help to improve his mental well-being and would also be beneficial for his lung condition. Martin attended the interview and was offered a work trial which led to a permanent self-employed position.

After receiving help from Michelle to register himself as self-employed, Martin is now working full time as a leaflet distributor. He is enjoying his new job and feels much more confident. He is currently re-learning how to balance his bills and is adapting to his monthly wage.

Martin’s confidence and self-esteem was very low when starting on BRIDGES; he knew that the length of time and the reasons behind the gap on his CV would be a barrier for him, however his confidence grew when he was able to focus on what he could do rather than what he couldn’t and now he is handling his new job and responsibilities well and feels much better in himself.