Case Study

The best birthday present ever

28 May 2024

On Aaron’s 41st birthday, October 17th 2023, he attended an interview that changed his life. Having never worked before due to a serious health condition, he was finally given the chance to prove himself, build his fitness, and become financially independent. With Ingeus’ support, attending his interview at Wigan’s Rebuild with Hope store was, he says ‘the best present ever’. 

Aaron has the genetic bone disorder osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bone disease. From birth to his early 20’s he estimates he broke at least 100 bones, spending much of his life in hospital or a plaster cast. He attended a school for disabled pupils and by 16 was also a carer for his mum. Medically exempt from working, Aaron faced a life of unemployment. 

“Growing up attending a special school and having lots of time away meant I was quite closed off, I never really knew anyone else,” says Aaron, who lives in Worsley Mesnes in Wigan. “As an adult, the breaks slowed down, I guess I learnt my limits and how to adapt better. I tried to get work, found a few bits, but no employer would give me a genuine job – until now.” 

Referred to the Restart Scheme in the summer of 2023, Aaron began attending the Ingeus offices in Hallgate. The programme offers holistic health and employability advice, access to local employers, and an empathetic approach to finding the right job for every individual. Aaron soon had a tailor-made CV and an interview to attend. 

“Ingeus talked to me about the types of job my condition would allow for, that I could physically do,” continues Aaron. “They made suggestions and had access to vacancies I couldn’t find and soon suggested the cleaning role at Rebuild with Hope.” 

Ingeus has forged a strong partnership with the discount store in Wigan’s Grand Arcade, which offers flexible hours, volunteering opportunities and an understand approach to people entering the workplace after a prolonged absence.  

Following his birthday interview, Aaron started work as a cleaner in November 2023:  

“They just understood. I wasn’t made to feel useless or put in a situation that I couldn’t manage. I was offered a staggered start, three hours a day, to build up my strength. There’s no heavy lifting involved and I’m constantly reminded to take my rest breaks. I’ve gradually built up to 24 hours a week now and although I get tired, my body’s got used to it.” 

Responsible for cleaning behind the scenes at the massive retail and homewares store, Aaron has undertaken health and safety training, with the option to train for a warehouse role in the future. 

“I’m really happy cleaning at the moment. I know what’s expected and can manage my own workload,” concludes Aaron. “I’d tried to find work, and have attended employability programmes before, but Ingeus and Rebuild with Hope have finally done the trick for me.  

“For once, I’d don’t feel that I’m not good enough and I can afford to treat my kids occasionally.” 

Restart Scheme - Greater Manchester | Ingeus 

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