Going freelance with support from the Restart Scheme

onathan pursues his passion as a freelance artist  


Jonathan Foard was unemployed and struggling to find a role that fitted with caring for his wife and son, but the Restart Scheme was on hand to help him transition into his dream career as an illustrator. 

Jonathan, 29, from Derby was working as a freelance English teacher online but was struggling to fit his caring responsibilities in with sporadic tutoring sessions. He was referred to Reed in Partnership who deliver the Restart Scheme in Derby on our behalf, where he met with his Employment Advisor, Mohin Khalil. 

Jonathan was a keen artist but had never thought of this as being a viable career path.  As a result of his precarious situation, and worrying about providing for his wife and son who both have ongoing health difficulties, Jonathan was also struggling with his mental health.  

Mohin saw his passion and was on hand to provide mental health support, whilst building a plan to start Jonathan’s career as an artist.  

Together, they investigated how to build a business, and found a lead generation website where self-employed workers can contact businesses about collaboration opportunities. Members of the site can pay to access contact details for potential leads, the cost of which Mohin was able to fund for Jonathan. 

Once Mohin helped Jonathan to realise that he could pursue his passion whilst working flexibly alongside his caring responsibilities, Jonathan started looking for projects. 

Through the website, Jonathan began to take on more freelance art work, even illustrating a children’s book. Thanks to the support from the scheme, Jonathan has been enjoying working as a freelance artist since October 2023. 

Reflecting on how his life has changed, Jonathan said: “The Restart Scheme gave me the confidence and opportunity to pursue a career I’d always wanted to work in and still look after my family.”  

After witnessing Jonathan flourish, Mohin added: “Jonathan has worked hard around his current responsibilities at home to work self-employed as a brilliant illustrator, slowly building up his business alongside caring for his wife and son. I feel sure he will do great in this.” 

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