Case Study

Colin’s one-stop-shop to success

7 May 2024
It wasn’t until everyone began to wear masks in the pandemic that 36 year-old Colin realised how dependent he had become on lip reading. His degenerative hearing loss means that even with hearing aids, several higher frequencies are inaudible, and he struggles to differentiate the common building block sounds of conversation.

“I struggle with conversation a lot as many sounds – tee, dee, ee, gee – all sound the same to me,” explains Colin, who lives in Wigan with his family.

“I have lived with hearing loss for many years and learned to unconsciously adapt but it seriously impacted my last full time admin role when I couldn’t manage the necessary phone calls. I tried some temporary part-time jobs afterwards but was then unemployed for almost a year.

“It wears on you, being unemployed. It feels like you are adrift, and the longer you’re out of work, the more difficult it is to find a chance to get back in.”

When Colin was referred by Wigan Jobcentre Plus to Ingeus and the Restart Scheme in September 2023, he found his perfect chance. The programme supports unemployed people into jobs with local employers and Ingeus has formed a proactive partnership with local retailer Rebuild with Hope, which runs a discount store in Wigan’s Grand Arcade.

With his past experience Colin was a great candidate for Ingeus to put forward to Rebuild, which is renowned for its flexible and compassionate approach to supporting disadvantaged jobseekers into work.

“I was looking for the right work in the right environment, which narrowed down my options,” continues Colin, who left school with impressive GCSEs and worked extensively in retail before trying an admin post.

“Ingeus helped me rework my CV and were completely supportive of me picking my own direction, while also offering advice and avenues I hadn’t considered. They arranged an online British Sign Language course for me and thankfully introduced me to Rebuild with Hope.”

At Ingeus’ suggestion, Colin began part-time volunteering at the shop in December. By the start of April, having realised he could amply manage in the store’s environment, Colin began a full time, retail assistant job. He has undertaken first aid and electrical safety testing training and is set to begin a Level 3 Retail Team Leader
Apprenticeship. His very own one-stop-shop to success!

“Not much needs to be adapted. Any non-face-to-face communications are through text or email as I struggle to hear with phones, and I occasionally miss things if people speak quietly or very quickly.

“I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and friendly people at Rebuild with Hope. There’s a real sense of community within the store, both with colleagues and customers. I really value being out of the house, the routine, again. Interacting with other people and working to new goals. I’m looking forward to the team leader training and saving for a holiday.”

Restart Scheme - Greater Manchester | Ingeus

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