June 21, 2011
That is the day everything changed for John Pether.
A vehicle shunted in to back of his car, leaving him with three damaged discs and suffering from Chronic Pain Syndrome.
Before the accident, he was earning a comfortable wage working full time at a local hospital. He owned a nice car and a motorbike, and recently began studying to become a qualified accountant.
In one brief moment, he almost lost everything.
“I have had to really fight to get over that,” said John
“Even the slightest movement left me in a lot of pain. I was on a lot of medication at the time, which meant I couldn’t focus on my work or studies. Eventually I was let go from my job. I had worked pretty much my whole life, so that put a big dent in my confidence.”
For some people, that would be enough, but not John. Following a change in his medication and new physiotherapy treatments, he regained his focus and continued his studies. After years of hard graft– all done off his own back without the aid of a tutor – John is now a qualified accountant and is on the verge of completing his BSc Higher Education qualification.
Despite gaining his qualifications, John faced another hurdle on his route back into work.
John added: “I have lost count of the amount of job applications I have done over the past six months – it must be around the 500-600 mark. Out of those applications I have had 8 replies, several rejections and two unsuccessful interviews. It’s hugely frustrating because there are plenty of jobs out there.”
However, an unexpected phone call to Weaver Vale Housing Trust provided John with the opportunity he’d been looking for.
“I actually called Weaver Vale to report a roof repair, but ended up getting a work placement at the Trust! I spoke to Jenny on the phone who was brilliant. She listened to what I was saying and put me through to Andrew in the Work and Enterprise team. We had a chat on the phone and a couple of days later I popped into the office for an interview.
“Andrew knew exactly where I was coming from. We sat down and talked a bit about the skills I had and what I wanted to achieve. Two weeks later I started my eight-week placement here with Weaver Vale and it’s been a really good experienced so far.
“This is about proving that I am employable – that I can work 20 or more hours a week and learn new skills as I go along. After being out of work for 6 years, this is giving me the confidence boost that I needed.”
John is just one of the hundreds of Weaver Vale customers who have received help from our Work and Enterprise Team. The team offers support and guidance for customers who are looking to get back in to training or work, and also provide work placement within the Trust and other sectors.
“I’ve been out with the Employment Horizons team at their drop –in sessions. I was impressed with how determined people were to learn new skills, as well as how dedicated and supportive the team were.. It was good to see the human side of things and I’m looking forward to spending time with the IT and Finance teams as well.”
“I have only been here a short while, but I have already decided that I want to stay. There’s a real positive vibe around the office and everyone has been incredibly helpful. There are no barriers – everyone has time for you and is on hand to help.
“I still have my doubts after being out of work for so long, but I’m determined to make the most of this opportunity. I am ambitious. In five years time I see myself as a senior accountant. If I can get my confidence back and I think I have a lot to offer. “
Andrew Ashford from Weaver Vale’s Work and Enterprise Team has been supporting John during his placement.
Andrew said: “It has been fantastic to work with John. He has really grown in confidence during the short time that he has been with us.
“He has battled through a lot of adversity over the past few years and has pretty much gained all his qualifications off his own back. John has bags of ability, is good with people, full of enthusiasm and he is very keen to work. Over the next two months, John will gain some valuable experience and we will work to find a direction that’s right for him.”
If you find yourself in a similar position to John and are looking to get back into work, get in touch with Andrew and the team by calling 01606 813 546 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out a more here