Jim’s new job boosts his confidence and his mental health
21 Mar 2022
A new job has transformed life for Jim Gleeson, who has experienced depression for over 30 years. The 56-year-old, from Millom in Cumbria, now wakes up every day looking forward to going to work.
After losing his job as a carer due to his depression, Jim tried to keep busy with voluntary work but struggled to find paid employment. He was referred by Blaise Harriman at Barrow Jobcentre Plus to the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme, delivered locally by Ingeus.
Through JETS, Jim’s CV was revamped to showcase his full ability and skills, tailoring it towards a retail job. He also took part in interview technique workshops. His employment coach Alison Musgrave worked with Jim to find potential roles and Jim was successful at just his second interview.
Now he replenishes stock at a retail store in Whitehaven and loves it.
“I really enjoy it, I have a lot of fun and a good laugh,” said Jim. “My colleagues know I struggle with depression and have been very supportive. If they see that I’m quiet, they check on me.”
Jim began with a temporary role and has already been taken on as a permanent member of staff, with an increase in hours and a chance of further training and opportunities. He takes the train to work each day but is planning to move nearer to work.
“You never know when depression is going to creep up on you and when you are going through it, it is a really dark and horrible place,” said Jim. “But going back to work has been great – working gives you a routine and the incentive to get up – even on a bad day – and by the time you get to work, it’s a good day.
“When you are unwell, your confidence goes out of the window but now I have a lot more confidence than I did this time last year.”
Jim, who is a keen photographer, is very grateful to JETS: “Without the support of JETS and the help and guidance from Alison, it would have been very hard to find a job.
“I’ve been on employment programmes when I was younger and without doubt JETS has been the best. I would recommend it to anyone who has been long-term unemployed or not able to work through illness.”
JETS is a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in Carlisle by Ingeus. It is commissioned and financed by the Department for Work and Pensions and deemed to be a European Social Fund match funded programme.