Margaret’s future becomes brighter
24 Jan 2022
When 63-year-old Margaret Keogh decided to return to work after almost 20 years of caring for her mum, she thought she’d struggle to find employment. Dealing with grief and depression, as well as fearing her age would hold her back, she was grateful for support from Ingeus’s Work and Health Programme.
Margaret, from Huyton, had lived with her parents all her life and when her mum passed away in 2020 aged 97, she was left feeling devastated. Battling with depression and loneliness, she registered with her local Jobcentre Plus before being referred to Ingeus’s Work and Health Programme, known locally as Work and Health North West, which helps those who have been unemployed for a long time, as well as people with disabilities and health conditions, into work.
“I was so depressed,” explains Margaret. “My mum wasn’t even buried when I first started looking for a job. I wasn’t hearing back from anything I applied for, and it all got too much for me, so I was referred to Work and Health Programme and they were marvellous.”
Margaret’s Key Worker Neil Lunt used a support plan to help Margaret re-build her confidence to return to the workplace – which she left after redundancy enabled her to become her parents’ full-time carer.
She says: “I was lacking in confidence as well as being terribly depressed. I thought there was no way anyone would want to employ me at my age. But Neil was so patient with me – there was never any pressure to accept a job I didn’t want.”
Helping Margaret with her CV and interview skills, Neil eventually put her in touch with a local cleaning business and she was soon back in paid employment. Now, working as a cleaner in local offices, Margaret is delighted.
“It’s my dream job!” exclaims Margaret. “It’s local and I’m really enjoying it. I was so lonely before, but I’ve got a new lease of life now and a spring in my step. Neil even organised funding for me to buy a pair of comfy shoes for work!”
And gratitude is similarly felt by Margaret’s employer, as Spotless Commercial Cleaning Account Manager Agnieszka Abrahamyan explains: “I would like to say a big thank you to Ingeus. I was struggling to find a reliable person, but Ingeus quickly matched the right candidate to the job description with Margaret, who has excellent skills.”
Work and Health North West, delivered by employment specialist Ingeus, is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and receives support from the European Social Fund.