Helping Jim get back to business

3 Dec 2022
He had launched a community interest company to create a place of friendship and creativity for people with health conditions in Middleton. Sadly, 61-year-old Jim Weinowski was forced to close operations when the pandemic struck. Now, thanks to the JETS programme delivered by Ingeus, Jim has been given help and advice to get back on track.
Shabby Sleek was providing a safe space for people to meet and pursue creative activities, from woodworking and metalwork to ceramics and other crafts. Its aim was to improve the wellbeing of people with health issues such as epilepsy, dementia, and heart and lung conditions. By bringing people together, it was also combatting isolation and loneliness.
“It was providing people with coping strategies and empathy and understanding, saying ‘you’re not alone’,” explains Jim. “We set up operations in November 2019, before the Covid pandemic, and were finding our feet. We’d had a couple of orders for raised bed planters to spruce up the town, but then Covid put a stop to it. Our subscribers have health issues so we had to close it down on health grounds.”
Help was at hand when Jim was referred to the Working Well (Work and Health Programme) JETS (Job Entry Targeted Support) programme delivered by Ingeus in Greater Manchester. Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the scheme helps people find a job – but also offers self-employment support. 

After completing a first aid refresher course, Jim was referred to supply chain partner Kilcoyne Associates for business advice. 

“I already had a business plan, but it wasn’t up to scratch, so we redesigned it with sales and revenue forecasts,” says Jim. “My JETS coach was also there for moral support, keeping in touch regularly, asking how we were getting on.”

Jim recruited four new trustees for his business and sent them on courses to get them trained up. His next step will be to launch new premises for the manufacture of everything from planters, nesting boxes and scroll saw art to keyrings, pens and measuring spoons.
“I’m feeling much more positive about the business now everything is moving forward,” says Jim. “I would recommend JETS without a doubt. Ingeus treat you like a human being and they want to get things done right, rather than just saying take any job you’re qualified for.”

Visit Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) | Ingeus to find out more.

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