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Our Building Better Opportunities scheme helps grandad become a bus driver

Over a year ago David Pagett had difficulty getting into employment.

He was struggling with his nerves and other medical problems and felt that he would not be employed again.

David lives in one of our properties in Worcestershire and was referred to the Building Better Opportunities scheme by our Community Scheme Worker Karen Bowe.

One year on and David is working as a bus driver and thanks to his new job he has also been able to book holidays for his family.

David said: “I found out about Building Better Opportunities through Citizen in April 2018. At this point in my life I felt that I had very little prospects and didn’t think anyone would ever employ me again.

“I was suffering with my nerves and other medical problems, so I was finding it hard to see how I could move forward.

“Soon after I started on the Building Better Opportunities scheme things started to look up. I had a job coach to support me and it gave me the confidence to start believing in myself again.

“Suddenly there was a light at the end of the tunnel and together we started working on job searches.”

David was able to learn how to apply for jobs and submit meaningful applications online.

He said: “It opened up a whole new world to me. To my amazement very quickly I started getting replies to my applications, then interviews and then I secured a job as a bus driver.

“One year later, I am still driving my bus around Pershore and life is really different.  I have built up a rapport with passengers and we are on first name terms, I really enjoy brightening up their day and taking the time to get to know them.”

Since being employed as a bus driver David has been able to do up his flat, take his family on holiday to Disney Land Paris including his son and grandchildren, he has booked a cruise for April 2020 and is planning a holiday in 2021 with his other son.

He added: “I can now truly say that I look forward to everyday.”

The Building Better Opportunities programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund and we are one of the partners in the project. It helps people who are unemployed with work experience and job opportunities throughout Worcestershire.

The programme specifically helps those furthest from the workplace with a focus on overcoming barriers such as drug and alcohol addiction, mental ill health and homelessness.

It has been shortlisted for the Resident Employment and Training category at the UK Housing Awards which will take place on May 7 at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.

Our Job Coach, Cathy Scarlett, said: “It’s fantastic news that this scheme helped David to get into employment and take his family on holidays.

“When I first met David, he struggled with his confidence but now he has greatly improved and loves his job.

“I am so pleased we were able to help David and we’re looking forward to helping more people who are in a similar situation.”

Funding for Building Better Opportunities has been secured until September 2022 and it will help anyone in Worcestershire who is unemployed, has a legal right to work in the UK and of working age. Most of the participants – around 60% – are our residents who have been referred by our money advice, lettings and neighbourhood teams.

Those who would like support from the programme should call us on 0300 790 6555.

For media enquiries contact our Communications Team.

David Pagett Web