Overcoming Barriers

09 October 2017

Mark Leach

ESF Work Routes in Leeds recently supported Mark Leach to overcome his mental and physical health barriers to enter paid employment.

When Mark first joined the ESF Work Routes service, he lacked motivation and enthusiasm to find work, having been unemployed for more than five years. He had also been struggling to use a computer to find work.

Mark worked with his Employment Adviser Eve Ormerod to establish a potential career path. He was submitted for a training course and succeeded in gaining a qualification in ground maintenance. Mark also attended confidence and motivational sessions, as well as showing real commitment by visiting his Employment Adviser at least twice a week.

The 58 year old, who suffers from Osteoarthritis, was also supported by Health and Wellbeing Adviser Hayley Snowden, as he had previously been off work for 12 months on two occasions, suffering from depression and anxiety. In order to help him manage this and prevent future sickness absence, an action plan was put in place to develop Mark's coping strategies and manage his mood whilst in employment.

Mark was also referred to Reed in Partnership's partner organisation and Leeds' biggest recycling site, Revive, where he started volunteering to gain valuable work experience.

Due to Mark's determination within the placement, he was offered a paid role with Revive after volunteering with them for just three months.

Mark is delighted to be back in work, and credits Work Routes for helping him achieve his goals:

"Ever since my first day on Work Routes, I've felt that I have been supported very well by all the staff at Reed in Partnership", said Mark.

"I have been volunteering with Revive in Kirkstall for three months, and now have been offered a 30 hour contract with them.

"Without the ongoing help from Reed in Partnership this wouldn't be happening - I'm very grateful.

"I am now in a set routine, my confidence has grown massively and it has given me something to look forward to every day. I'm over the moon."

Work Routes is delivered in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and co-financed by the European Social Fund.