Working together to empower

Partnership working is a recipe for success

Linda Aldred from Doncaster has been supported back into employment after four years out of work thanks to help from the Restart Scheme.

Linda, 54, was referred to the Restart Scheme in August 2021. In South Yorkshire, Maximus UK is working with its partners The Growth Company to deliver the Scheme.

Linda had been out of work since 2017, when she became a carer for her partner and mother. The last few years have been difficult for Linda. But she was keen to get back into work.

Having previously worked as a catering assistant and worked in kitchens for nine years, she was on the lookout for full or part time work within the hospitality industry.

Linda’s dedicated Employment Advisor Mellissa identified Linda’s barriers and put a plan into action to break down these barriers one by one. Mellissa helped Linda to complete her CV and obtained a new birth certificate for her.

Mellissa discovered that Linda struggled with her hearing and they discussed her support needs. Mellissa engaged with ‘Aspire to Be,’ an innovative specialist employability service for those who are deaf/hard of hearing and also those with learning difficulties/disabilities, which inspires and makes a difference.

Mellissa enlisted the local company’s support to help Linda with her hearing aid and communication difficulties, along with working with employers who support people with health difficulties.

Not only have Aspire to Be assisted with her hearing aid and provided communication support – they have also helped to build on Linda’s existing kitchen skills and gaining of work experience, that led to her being offered a permanent position.

And it was though the Restart Scheme’s external intervention with Aspire to Be, that Linda started her new role as a Kitchen Assistant in the hospitality industry in November.

Mellissa has continued to provide Linda with regular In Work Support as she settles into her new role.

Linda said: “If it wasn’t for the Restart Scheme and Aspire to Be I wouldn’t have got a job and I’d still be sat at home, which is no good for me, I like to be busy. I’ve worked in kitchens for nine years or more. I feel a lot better in myself now that I’m back at work. It’s been a tough few years, but it’s good to be getting back to normal.”

Tina Rafferty, Programme Manager at Aspire to Be, said: “I think the partnership working relationship we have with The Growth Company is great and shows what impact different services have on individuals if we work together.”

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