Supported all the way

New mindset means new role for Alastair

Alastair Wilson from Glossop is celebrating a new job – and a new mindset – thanks to the Restart Scheme.

Alastair, 40, had been unemployed for four years was referred to the Restart Scheme in October 2021.

Alastair previously worked as a Customer Service Advisor and loved his job, but he began to struggle with anxiety and suffered panic attacks. He felt he had nowhere to go for support and this lack of support eventually led to him resigning from his role.

Despite his continuing struggle with his mental health and anxiety, he was determined to get back into work, proactively applying for jobs at every opportunity.

He attended interviews, but these proved unsuccessful due to his nerves, further fuelling his anxiety and culminating in a fear of interviews. And so, the job search continued.

In Derbyshire, Maximus is working with its partners Reed In Partnership to deliver the Restart Scheme.

When Alastair first met with his Employment Advisor Nicola, she could see how severely his anxiety affected him. It became clear to Nicola that he had a number of barriers to employment which were quite challenging, including depression, his anxiety and his fear of interviews.

Nicola advised Alastair to speak to his GP about his mental health and started to work with him to build his confidence and work towards overcoming his fears and anxieties.

Alastair took her advice on board. Gradually, Nicola started to see real progress each time she met with him, thanks to the actions that were set and the reassurance that she was providing.

To further build Alastair’s confidence in his own abilities, Nicola introduced him to Employment Skills Trainer Rachel. Initially, Rachel provided Alistair skills support on a one-to-one basis to ensure he was comfortable.

Slowly, Alastair was introduced to group sessions. He blossomed – and went on to complete courses including Attended Self Confidence, Resilience, Interview Skills and Transferable Skills.

Throughout his time on the Scheme, Alastair remained proactive – and Nicola continually supported and encouraged him, helping him to recognise his achievements along the way.

The transformation in Alastair from his first days on the Scheme was plain to see. He even changed the type of job he wanted to apply for which put him out of his comfort zone.

But then, Alastair started to secure interviews for jobs he had applied for prior to his referral to the Scheme – and thanks to the skills and techniques he acquired on the Restart Scheme and encouragement from Nicola, he felt more prepared than ever.

Alastair attended two interviews, and was successful in both, resulting in him being offered both roles. He began his new job as a Motor Insurance Claims Handler in January.

Alastair said: “The Restart Scheme gave me the tools to help me overcome my barriers and position.”

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